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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    January 17, 2013
    8:00 - 12:59am EST  

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-- dr. west and i, said the new poor in this country are the formal class. that is what is happening in our society. >> thank you very much. it is such a rich conversation. i am glad to be a part of it. where to begin? no matter what your leanings are and whether you know about education or not, let's turn to some of the language you are talking about. investing in very young children is the best investment you can make. it has the greatest return on investment. we know that because the first years of life are the most important for cognitive, social, and emotional development. you are only two years old ones. that is the most significant window of time. which brings me to the next
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point, yes, we have class warfare. those who are poor are completely left out of the national dialogue on poverty and hunger. that is a bipartisan effort, to keep people who are poor out of the national dialogue. that is why i work with low income women to be able to take photographs and provide direct testimony on their experiences with raising children in poverty, how to break cycles with poverty, and there are so many conversations happening. this concept of violence and the trail. people have been silenced for so many years. -- betrayal. people have been silenced for so many years. poverty is solvable. they and expect nothing less. they are raising their children
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and they expect their child to be the president of the united states, a lawyer, a doctor, and they want the best education, the best type of food, a safe and affordable home to live. the women we work with are investing so much into their children. they are having to trade off paying for rent and paying for food, and trade off for whether they keep the lights on and pay for food. that is unconscionable. [applause] thank you. all of us can expect more. low income women should be included in the national dialogue. the women i have spoken with our genius. they are brilliant to survive in the united states today. they are so fantastic entrepreneurs. they are wise. they have a lot of grit. they are stronger than any of us on stage. it is a brain trust in america
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we are not utilizing. they should be part of the national dialogue and -- at a part of the stage and being listened to in congress. not just the special income -- special interest lobbyists. [applause] >> we are going into the last hour of the program. we want to highlight the fight back. there are people in this country who are succeeding against the odds every day as they struggle with poverty. there are persons who will join us on the front row. they are already here. i will get off the stage and talk to them so we can hear from everyday people, fellow citizens, who are in this fight every day. we want eighth -- we want to put a face on poverty. while you are talking, talk to me about what you make of the
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fact that the new poor are in fact the former middle-class. they make up every race, every ethnicity. when we talk about poverty, people think as the poor as those people. they are increasingly becoming us. people are losing their jobs, their 401k. >> we are in the middle of an economic disaster. it is crushing people. it is very dangerous. their capacity. this is a big threat to the country. we underestimate the danger. jeffrey knows the story dramatically better than i do. moaning small amounts of money only to women in order to create
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micro on super norris -- on chopin norris -- entrepreneurs. there are ways in which we say to people, the passive. we ought to be saying, if we could wave a magic wand and tomorrow have 6 million small businesses, one of the things we should seriously look at with tax reform is how do you replace the anti-poor, anti-small business tax. it is the first big hurdle to create a job. how could you design the equivalent for starting your own business? trying to reach out here and realize, every american could be premiership -- of
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.ntrepreneurshi passing so many laws and regulations and taxes that they kill the start up businesses in ways that are crazy. >> i have to jump in. thank you so much for talking about entrepreneurship. you were there, you were a part of that. there has been so much destruction to the assistance program. talk about rules and regulations. those are things your administration, when you were the speaker of the house, so many of those types of rules and regulations were built into the program, so much that they have not responded to the recession. it is only able to reach about 30% of the children who are poor in this country. an incredible increase in child poverty been. micro finance would may be a
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great way to insert into the system. if a woman is receiving cash assistance or food stamps and she happens to, may be working on the side doing hair and nails, housekeeping, child care. fair -- fantastic things. that $50 or $100 she makes on the weekend, god forbid she reported to the case manager because she would be criminalized for something that would be celebrated in this country. [applause] >> i agree with you. >> i want to tell you that would have been lovely if you could have thought of that 17 years ago. [applause]
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>> i wish i had. >> think of the damage done. >> he said i wish i had. he did say that. i have got you on the microphone. what you have just said now is wonderful. the fact she is agreeing with you is amazing to me. >> shocking. >> you were in the media almost immediately when this fiscal cliff deal was reached. you were in the media almost immediately, you were very disappointed, very upset at this deal that was struck. i got the sense you were spanking your fellow republicans for getting their clocks cleaned by mr. obama in that debate. tell me what you are upset about and is there some revenge exacted? >> we have very severe long-term fiscal problems.
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i think there is a lot more that is at the big banks door and the federal reserve's door. it is amazing neither party has been willing to look at the problems. we are faced with enormous long- term challenges on the fiscal side. i thought the whole process was wrong. i have a bias. i was speaker of the house. the idea that the senate at the last minute would write an entire bill, put whatever they wanted into it, send it over, and say, pass it as we wrote it. we will not touch it again. and the house said, ok. the that was institutionally crazy. nobody read that bill. it violated everything republicans complained about with the stimulus. the minimum they could have done was brought it up, actually read it, maybe had a hearing to find out what was in it and what did it mean. there were millions of dollars
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for the motion picture industry. i understand why the president wants to take care of its friends. what did that have to do with the bill? a good the here and a few other goodies there. republican senators wrote what they wanted. it is a bad way to run free society. >> we just passed a farm bill. my colleagues -- and i will call them that because i am in public -- voted to cut $16.50 billion over the next years. i voted against it because i thought it was outrageous. they voted against it because
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they did not think it was enough. we have people who literally work in the house of representatives who do not believe they are in poverty in this country. any of them, i want you to go to the other side of town to wherever it is you live. people believe if you do not lazy.you are laid t these are the craziest people i have ever seen in my life. absolutely not. -- nuts. [applause] [applause] if we continue to send people to congress who do not understand what their job is, then we are never going anywhere as a country. these people are evil and mean. they cared nothing about anybody but themselves.
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[applause] >> let me ask you, though. i am really feeling sorry for you. i will push to hire up on my purpose tonight is a prayer list tonight. -- the my prayeron list tonight. there are people who are entrenched in congress, they come from districts where this is not their priority, not their issue, so congress is polarized around the issue of poverty. there is a consensus poverty does not matter. congress is polarized on this issue. how do we ever imagine that the
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plot of the poor will get addressed. class getting these little blurbs. make them sit down, convene a group of people to address the issues of poverty. people out there have to stop being silent. anytime i get a phone call in my office, i believe at least 50 of my constituents believe the exact same thing. if you start calling your congress people and your senators and say to them, you want them to address poverty, trust that they listened very do not assume or be angry when you turn on the news at night and turn -- and tourism at your television. it cannot talk was. you have to do it yourself. if you don't, once again, every year, once of -- one of us takes the food stamp talent.
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people get -- challenge. people get the news. until we get more voices, until more people understand how important and significant it is for us, they are going to continue to pat us on the head and say, your food stamp challenge week. until they see hungry people, until they see babies who do not eat every day, until they realize the fastest-growing group of children in schools today is hungry and homeless children, until we can make them see it, they will not believe it. >> that is a perfect segue. -- segway for those who just tuned in, this is our hastag. #povertymustend. our website is a future with
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poverty.com. you will find a letter. it is already litten for you -- written for you. encouraging the president to do things quickly. deliver a major public policy address on the eradication of poverty. we have been told over and over he is an organizer. it is time for the community to get organized and led the president know we want to hear from him, we want him to deliver a major public policy address on poverty. we can do this every day. this is no comparison. between what we are doing and what would happen if the president of the united states gave a major policy speech on
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what he will do to eradicate poverty. and then he gave us an assignment to do to help him get it done. he ought to give a major public policy address. bring the experts together. i will not be in that meeting. i am not an expert. i am just a broadcaster to open up a whole for the exports to run through -- experts to run through. a plan to cut poverty in half in the short run, eradicate it in the long run. if the president wants a legacy in which he and we can be proud, he will have to make poverty a priority in the second term. signed that letter and let him know about it. >> i do not want to be in that meeting, either. i would not go.
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at least a crack addict is honest about their addiction. the white house is addicted to power. they are addicted to power. it is not just about power. it has to do with love and justice. love and justice is always week. that is precisely why tradition in this history of this nation has been the democratic loaf. we recognize we have to have a suspicion of government. this is why i resonate with my conservative brothers. martin luther king jr. was under fbi surveillance until the day he died. government can be oppressive, vicious, ugly, violate your rights, generate propaganda. we need that, too. government can be affirmative,
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if they are helping poor and working people. government can help use its power for elites. when they come together with no accountability whatsoever, not just politically, but economically. let me say this. martin luther king jr. today could be taken to jail without due process or judicial process under the national defense authorization act because he had a connection with a freedom fighter, nelson mandela. he just got off the terrorist list in 2008. he had a relation to a terrorist. under the present administration, and you can take americans to jail without due process. the black freedom movement has always been suspicious of it. we have black prisoners in their precisely because they
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were willing to tell the truth that was a threat and we do not talk about them. that is why the culture of fear is not just violence. people are afraid. they are afraid to lose their jobs. they are afraid to lose their status. not going to be nice tea parties, the white house. you cannot have a culture of fear and generate a movement. it is not just about justice. we have got to talk about love. martin was a titan of love. if you are not talking about love and willingness of sacrifice, we are not going nowhere. you have to be willing to hit the streets, go to jail, to die. that is what it is about. if you are not willing to do that, keep your job and drink your tea. we are in the state of
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emergency. [laughter] [applause] people are dying out here. >> since you went there, this is foreign to a lot of people. he hasn't -- martin has been gone for so long now. the nation knows the president will be sworn in for a second term on monday, on the martin luther king jr. holiday. just blocks down the street, the monument. the president will put the hand on the bible of martin luther king jr. as he is inaugurated. king is always present in our conversations. he is present tonight. if you raise this notion of love, since martin, the notion of love, and our public policy have been absent, you talk about and try to put love -- we heard about compassion and conservatives, i want to ask you what ever happened to
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compassionate conservatism -- but love, at the center of our public policy, it is a foreign concept. that is exactly what martin did. he put love at the center of the public square. why have we abandoned that notion? >> the rule of money. everybody and everything is up for sale. you cannot have integrity, love, you cannot have trust if everything and everybody is up for sale. if you're leaders are up for sale, they will talk one way, get inside, and do something else. it is big money. for black people who have been hated for 400 years, hatred comingized a stric
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after us, and we dish out martin king, that love in the face of the hatred, that is a spiritual and moral high ground. the whole country has to take note of it with martin. the whole world has to take note of it. that is what is weak and feeble. it is not a question of speed -- skin pigmentation. it is a question of equality and morality of your speech rowdy. all of us fall short. [applause] >> now it is competition. the president takes no child left behind, which is the worst education law in my lifetime -- [applause]
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straight out of charles dickens. train them for exams, do not let them -- they might start asking why politicians do not keep their promises. no talk of love. the president takes no child left behind and he softens it. a race for the top. there will be told winners and -- 12 winners. the word enterprise, i am a very patriotic american. i like capitalism. it is good to me. the word enterprise is sickening. it has had a pathological affect on our attitudes -- effect on our attitudes.,
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these wall street guys who want to privatize our schools are setting up academies. dart -- dr. martin luther king academy of leadership and enterprise. or they will name them for langston hughes, frederick douglass. -- frederick douglass. i do not think a lot people should let the name the schools. [laughter] [applause] they should name it for people they do not like. [laughter] here are a few points. i will be unfashionable tonight. everyone in washington seems to think the way to solve the problems in our schools is to not give them another cent, another penny, to improve and make the schools look like
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places that are inviting and respect the value of children. aesthetics count. do not do that, but beat up on their teachers. that is the trend today. [applause] attack the unions. i heard about the teachers union from teachers in l.a. last fall. i flew to chicago to stand with them the day they went on strike. they were right to go on strike. [applause] i will tell you something. i am in schools all the time. when i was a young teacher, i remember this. schools are overwhelmingly -- the teachers are women. you go to a convention, if you are a guide, there are like 50 women for every guy. it is wonderful. i love it. [laughter] when they scapegoat teacher unions, the ruthless way they do, they are attacking some of
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the largest unions in this country of devoted, unselfish, inspired, loving, tender, good, female human beings. they are women. it is an attack on female women. [applause] i remember dr. king's last words when he said i have been to the mountain. that mountaintop is something that is a symbol of hope. it is biblical. it is something we would like to get back to. we wish we could get there again. but the dialogue of school reform is just like the dialogue of health care. there is nothing transcendental in it.
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there is nothing courageous in it. they are tinkering around the edges of an equity. that is what president obama is doing. fix the schools, they say. fix the schools. a very suggested word. it is a mechanistic terms. as though our schools were out, and our kids were commercial commodities. i hate that word. here is what i believe. i think that is emblematic of the low level of dialogue. my favorite american poet happens to be langston hughes. i read his poetry to my fourth graders. it was considered dangerous. curriculum deviation, i was fired.
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i was hired shortly after by the johnson administration. [laughter] my favorite worldwide poet happens to be the irish poet. there are lines many of us learn in school and forget. he said, the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. we need that passionate intensity on our side, on the side of the poor children in this earth. i beg the president to summon up the courage to give us that voice. if he does not, it would be a terrible betrayal of his role and he will miss an opportunity to leave behind a beautiful legacy in history.
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it will be his tragedy as well as ours. [applause] >> we are clearly headed to a real debate about austerity. i do not believe austerity is the answer. some people do. there is a big debate in the coming weeks as we get to this debt ceiling debate. talk to me, from your perspective, about this notion of compassionate conservatism. there was a movement 12 years ago to present that as an alternative. what happened to that? >> i would be glad to go down that road but i do not think it is useful. in the 1970's, jack was trying to gently develop a real understanding of how to break through at every level, housing, learning, jobs. and who i always told people, as a football quarterback, had
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showered with more african- americans than most republicans knew, had a deep, passionate commitment with every american he met. his heart was big. he did love everybody, to a point where it drives you crazy. you think, slightly less love, jack, it is ok. the use of it by the bush people was a political slogan to show they are softer than the gingrich republicans. they did not think through any serious, systematic program. i want to commend you. sitting here, i had two ideas, sufficiently radical, that would never have occurred without this conversation -- [applause] i did not say right or left. i just said radical. [laughter] one is talk about schools and talk about saving the children. then figure out what saving children leads you to, which
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involve nutrition, prenatal care, a lot of things. if you start with saving children, you somehow skip the bureaucracy and start back wi. want to say to the congressional head of the black caucus, i want to step away out here. >> i cannot imagine you doing that. [laughter] >> i was impressed with the intensity of your comments. [laughter] i think part of the challenge we have in america is the real dialogue that takes more than 90 minutes, or more than two and a half hours. here is my proposal, which i will carry to the republican side, if the congressional black caucus wants to do this. i believe the congressional black caucus members should offer to match up with a republican member, each going to gather to spend three days in
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your district, for example, and you spend three days in the republican district, and those days will lead to a conversation that will help us move back to help the by partisanship and help each side had a slightly different understanding, and maybe start to create french ships from which we could actually begin to rebuild the ability to govern. [applause] >> if you could make it work, i am in. if you could get your side to do it, i am in. that is a very good proposal. >> check it out and tell me how many of your folks are willing to visit. i will find republicans to make sure that happens. >> i love it. [applause] >> when you are all reflecting together, try to come up with
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strategies of how you can sever the link with those who control both of your party. [applause] >> i will let rose and say what she wants to say. my warning to the camera operators, i will walk in front of her to get out to the audience to talk to our special guests. every day american people -- they are everyday american people. the truth is americans, our fellow citizens, are doing the best they can with what they have and where they are. every single day, for the fight back without government coming through on the evil austerity -- every single day. the fight back without government help coming through, on the evil of stability --
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austerity israel. >> i was glad i was here. one of the things that is usually absent, there is an effort with the hon neal liberal agenda, everything should be for sale, to vilify teachers, to vilify anything public. the corporations have been in control and this country is in disaster. i want to talk about the american labor movement, who is behind social security, one of the greatest anti-poverty programs. we have to have -- the president cannot cut care for the most
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vulnerable people in our society. medicare is such a critical program. also pushed by the american labor movement. the other thing it does is to set a new high for wages, living wages for people. benefits, pensions. if you can find a job in america, get past the terrorism corporations do. if everything were unionized, we would have wall street on the run. [applause] >> stand up, all three of you. turn that way. we will have a conversation for a couple seconds. i said to my staff that i wanted to make sure i talked to everyday people who can tell
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their own stories and own words trying to navigate their way through poverty. let me ask you to thank them in advance for their courage for what they are about to share to come on national television to share their story. [applause] i want to start with mary ann, who is willing to come on national tv to share her story. some of us make bad choices in life. men.body say, a m those choices put us in situations where you have to wrestle with poverty. there is no with -- there is always a better way. there is a way out. there is an end to poverty. some people to call and find the situationsof eigh
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they put themselves and. mary ann is an authentic american hero. let me give her a couple seconds to tell her own story about being a substance abuser. as a result of those bad choices, finding herself deep in poverty. i want you to hear where she started and what she is doing now. take a minute and tell your story in your own words. >> first, i do not necessary believed it was a bad choice, as it was a symptom of deprivation. it came to me and we talked about love. i grew up in a middle-class family. it was not about money so much about love and deprivation. i ended up using heroin for 23 years of my life. at the end of my addiction, i was introduced to crack.
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i thank god for it. it hit me so fast so hard i hit rock bottom so they could treat me again. for the third or fourth time. i ended up getting myself together and going to a french culinary arts schools and vocational rehab. i landed in a place where i had an opportunity to work with men and women just like me. i worked every day. [applause] i had the opportunity to work every day with men and women also suffering from deprivation. they are not just homeless and hungry. they need healing. the approach is that holistic week, we try to empower our students, of which 90% are either coming back from prison and/or are substance abuse
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folks. there are an increasing number of people who come to us with mental health issues. we try to shorten the line. we prepare 5000 meals a day that goes to social service agencies that give the folks we were with the support they need. it is not just about jobs and education and housing, but feeling as well. -- healing as well. [applause] >> how about that? thank you. this is a conversation about self-sufficiency. your thoughts, a quick word about the choices or the lack thereof so many brothers and sisters have when they paid their debts to society. they come out and have that record and draw their efforts. they cannot get an opportunity. they cannot get a second chance. they cannot get their lives on track. >> that is what greatness is all
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about. some sense of service and love and self confidence and self- respect. i see it in you and feel it in your spirit. we have to allow that to spill over so it has to do with public policy. not just personal. i want to keep the focus on you right now. i salute you. [applause] >> this is tammy, a 20 year-old mother of one son. 21 now, excuse me. you are grown. [laughter] she found herself at 1.18 teen . she is not the only one in this country and mary ann was talking earlier about the difficulty many young women have trying to
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navigate through poverty when you are a mother of a young child. she is a student at northeastern university and studying political science. this is the fight back we are talking about. please say a quick word about what it is like trying to navigate through poverty when you are a single mom and what you say to all of those single moms watching right now trying to navigate the same journey. >> thank you for having me. it is not easy to be able to come and leave my baby back. i was feeling sad. i did not want to leave him. this is a fight for plenty of women, and not only single mothers. single fathers out there as well that struggle just as much as i do. [applause] i know plenty of them and they struggle. picture this. you are a single parent, but you have to come up with a way how to feed your family, work at the same time to pay bills, and go
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to school to get an education to better your life. last year, i only made $8,000 the whole year. my food stamps were cut. that was the only way i was able to feed my son, $85 a month. the average spent -- average family spends close to $500 or more. you expect me to spend $85 and live with that for my son. we had to be sent to a shelter because my mother no longer wanted us living with her. i had to pay rent at that shelter, get food stamps, have my own food in that shelter, and yet i was also a freshman at northeastern university. how was i going to do all of this at once? people ask me how i was doing this. you are an incredible woman. i am not.
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i am a normal person trying to fight for my son to have a better life than i did. [applause] i may seem extraordinary because of all of the things i have been able to do, but i am not. i am a mother trying to fight for my child. [applause] i am studying political science because i want to be up there in the future to show that they are the experts. [applause] most are through research. the true experts, counting myself, are out there. i want to be able to, in the future, show everyone else, counting the president, that statistic, that is not my name. i am not a statistic. i am an individual tried to make
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my life better -- trying to make my life better. when you ask me how i am able to be a student, pay my bills, get food stamps, but you are cutting my food stamps, so i am not able to pay for food for my son, so, technically, you are taking the ability to feed my son, and then you ask me, how are you able to accomplish all of this? i say, thank god for someone like mary anna who is able to come and say, take pictures of what you experience, show other individuals what you faced a today, and i am able to tell other people they are not alone in this struggle. i am afraid every day what i am going to do every 24 hours and how i will be able to pay my
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bills. if i make 1 cent more, my food stamps will be cut more. and i will not be able to pay it all at the same time. i am on a scholarship but that can get cut, too. but you expect me to hold up a 3.0 for a 4.0 gpa on my own, trying to work, be a mom, and a student at the same time. but i am a statistic. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. say a quick word. tell me more about this program. >> it is to break this silence. there is so much in the national rhetoric, so much shame and stereotypes about people who are poor. witnesses to ponder is about making sure women who are strong have an opportunity to speak
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back and participate. tammy is a great example. there are many people among us and all across the country who are witnesses to ponder. they need to speak up to break the shame. courage.s thank you. they are amazing. >> that person is my mother. she is here tonight. there are two sponsors that made this possible tonight. there are a lot of resources to make this possible. thank you, c-span, for carrying
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this conversation around the world. i also want you to thank the foundation for being our title sponsor to cnidaria [applause] daw -- two nights. onight.nig she is organizing young people to express themselves and raise their own voices about the conditions they find themselves in. you heard me offer those statistics earlier tonight about what is happening, poverty, in the state of mississippi. this is what we are talking about. this young woman is organizing a people and getting women together again to fight back and let their leaders here about the conditions that young people in poverty today are having to endure. tell me a bit about your work in mississippi.
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>> thank you for this opportunity. before i start to talk about my work, i would just like to say, bring a prison like my grandmother to the table, who was working at the hotel for 335 b 3:35 in the morning and at night time for the car factory on an acre and a half of land and a three-bedroom house, one bath and, and 20 of us in it. there is the true face of poverty. bring an expert like her to the table. her thing was to make sure we get educated. even as a young child, my escape from poverty was to get a good education. i knew once i got a good education, or at least tried to get a quality education, that would be my way out of poverty. that is what i continue to fight for. to build young people like me to lift our voices and fight for
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quality education that puts us on top, not because of our situation aor circumstances. it will lift us up out of poverty if we receive a quality education. that is why i push so hard along with the organization i work with. people inside are going inside of the schools and saying to the principals and superintendents, we have a voice. so many times, they do not see young people as equals. us -- until we start to work intergenerational lee and learn to value each other's voices and be in the same spaces, because we have solutions to these problems we are facing right now. that is what i am trying to do. bring our voices to the table with organizations behind us to strengthen our voices. that is my fight and it will continue to be. >> you are a student where? [applause] >> mais cool.
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-- my high school. [applause] >> thank you. .onathan perr say a word to me about the agency young people have all across the country that they do not engage to speak up for themselves. she startedtamis star . her grandmother is an expert. we are taking this conversation to colleges and university campuses all across america. you can sign that letter to the president and you can see the rundown for the next couple of weeks on college campuses, at taking this message to young people and asking them to engage
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the president in a conversation about what he will do to eradicate poverty. we will start that worked on right. all of the details and a future without poverty.com. our young people who can be empowered about this story. >> there are a lot of good and charitable groups in this country who will give young people an opportunity for their voices to be heard and widely. i support those groups. with a passion. the trouble is there are too few and too selective and precarious in nature. charity is a blessed thing. i never turn it down. but it is not a substitute for justice. [applause]
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only government can give us systematic justice in the sense of empowering all of our young people or the wealthiest of the privileged to stand up and speak out, ask discerning questions. in most schools, there is no time to ask questions. you have got to get those students prepped for the exam. do not let yourself get interrupted by asking a question. that will ruin the school day. you will be penalized. one of the most divisive and invidious schemes i have ever heard for improving schools. teacher against teacher.
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let me quickly surprise you by ending quickly by saying, i want to hear the voices of young people. i have a selfish reason. that is how i write my book. they are filled with the voices of young children. whenever somebody says, that is eloquent, i say, there is no eloquence like the eloquence of the witnesses themselves. god bless the young women who just stood up. [applause] thank you. >> thank you all. i will start to my left. the clock says we have less than seven minutes to finish this conversation. have you learned a lot tonight? have you enjoy yourselves? [applause] again, #povertymustend.
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our website, afuturewithoutpo verty.com. signed that letter. ask the president to give a speech about how he will address poverty. the time right now could not be better. then we could start a conversation. the rest of us will be forced to have a conversation about poverty and then we can get traction on this issue. we can bring these experts together and start to figure out a way to cut poverty in half. i will start on this end. 30 seconds a peace. i have to be off the air at 9:00. whatever you're closing thoughts are about the issue. >> i want to be on that task
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force. i thank you for asking that to be done. [applause] >> the safety net is maligned and criticized, but unemployment insurance have worked very well in the severe downturn. the problem is the program has not worked well. it is not tied to the condition of the economy. it needs to be fixed. roseanne. -- >> roseanne. >> i am inspired.
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i want folks to understand they have to engage. they cannot trust those in washington d.c.. we have got to take control in our democracy. i want to talk about the fact this goes back to unemployment. it is a very easy read. it cuts to the chase in terms of facts that there are programs to get through and get 100% employment. do not discount america. take control of america. [applause] >> i forgot to mention, the book is called america's poor and the great recession. ideas about what democrats and republicans can agree on. speaker gingrich. >> thank you for assembling an amazing group and a fascinating evening. i hope everybody found it as
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intriguing as i did. it is clear our institutions and poverty -- institutions are not working. there is a need to rethink from the ground up and use all of the various technologies. then have a conference at the end and then give a major speak. i think we do not have the solutions in this city today for an effective speech that really breaks through. he can draw our attention. >> the forthcoming book is called, "a better american future." please thank him for joining us. i appreciate it. [applause] >> thank you for bringing us together. what an amazing group of people with great solutions. the solutions are there. they are clear. the politics are broken right now. we have two parties that represent. we need a third party to
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represent the rest of america. [applause] >> "the price of civilization." a great read. [applause] >> remember martin luther king jr. it means much. we live in a culture where honesty is much more of a liability. truth telling can get you in trouble. we can cut against the culture if you get on the love trained. -- train. fight for everybody. >> "the rich and the rest of u s." thank you. last comment. >> we have way too many children who are hungry and poor. if we will solve polity, we will
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all do it together. you'll have to have a national plan. let's make sure low income americans are on that love train with the rest of us. [applause] >> in seconds. -- 15 seconds. >> a wonderful preschool, fun, joy, love. do it because we are decent people. [applause] >> "fire in the ashes." please thank the foundation, please thank them. [applause] please thank the network. please give a round of applause to c-span for carrying this conversation live. [applause] thank you very much for joining us. a future without poverty.com.
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god bless you and good night from washington. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> why did you write a book about your experience? it was an important part of history. i thought the perspective should be brought to bear. there were other accounts of the crisis that i thought were not completely accurate, especially in terms of what we did and what i did. i thought it was important to
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report our perspective. i think currently for people to understand there were different policy choices, different policy options, disagreements. if we want to prevent another crisis i thought the public itself should engage more, take bager interest in it, educate themselves better. it is easy to make a book accessible. >> the former head of the policy negotiations. her book is "bull by the horns" sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." two former chairman of the budget committee talked about the deet keeg ceiling and the changes to entitlemented to balance the budget. they spoke just under an hour.
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[applause] >> first senator gregg. >> thank you, marc. i appreciate that. that was quite an introduction. it is free to be here -- great to be here. they have been a wonderful firm to have represent me. it's also a wonderful to be here with kent conrad, who was a close friend, and i am glad his dog made it through so he could be here. he is a deficit hawk. more important than that he is a thoughtful and conscious -- voice of a conscious for the senate throughout his term on fiscal responsibility.
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we worked together in a very effective way to try to bring some sort of bipartisan effort into the requirement that we do something about the debt. it was really, as was mentioned, an idea that we came up with on a long plane ride i think to central america to put together a commission that then threw into the simpson bowls proposal that has become the defining memo for the effort to try to get that is under control. bob zoellick is fond of quoting a friend of his, the foreign minister of australia. we met a few months ago who said to him the united states is one debt deal away from leading the world out of fiscal chaos and disruption. we are. we truly are.
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we are a nation on the brink of massive economic expansion. from the place that can't is from, north dakota, you see the change in the paradigm on energy. we will go from importing country to an exporting country. our cost of energy for as far as i can see will be the lowest in the world and will change the whole dynamic of our markets and how we produce and how productive we are and how we grow as a society, but that is only part of it. we're still the place for all the great ideas come from. whether it is apple, facebook, for my part of the country for we are producing breakthroughs in medical technology. and we are pleased of massive liquidity. -- we are a place of massive liquidity. america is still inherently entrepreneurial. we still have people willing to take risks for the opportunity for themselves and the people they employ.
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the one thing that makes people concerned is our fiscal house, and the fact that we are on a totally unsustainable path, and that if we stay of this path we will essentially bankrupt our future and our children's future and reduce our standard of living. how do we resolve this? how do we get the one deal, as the foreign minister of australia said? it appears the big bang approach, which was a comprehensive agreement that we put together by the congress, and then was picked up, will not be the way it happens. there will be a trend here, chunk there. we have seen this happening as we have gone over the past two years where we had the events of august 2011 with the budget control act, which produced a very substantial deficit reduction effort in the area of
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discretionary spending. it was $900 billion. it also produced the super committee, which did not get results, but it did move the ball the putting some ideas on the table. -- have the biden group and the group of six. then we had the fiscal cliff event here. it was awful. an opportunity was missed in my opinion, especially by the house republicans to take up what had been a fairly legitimate savings, and what we ended up with was a tax bill. we now have 900 billion in discretionary spending. 600 billion in revenue. the next exercise, in my opinion, has to be about spending restraints, specifically entitlements. that is where the big enchilada is an issue that has not been
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taken up yet. how do we get to that? there are three pressure points. you have the sequestered, the debt ceiling, and you have the continuing resolution. the sequestered and debt ceiling fall on top of each other towards the end of february. these to say and republican leadership and the senate, which is served in for 12 years, you never take a hostage you cannot shoot. the problem with the house was they took hostage the cannot shoot when they took the fiscal cliff. if the republican members of congress take the debt ceiling as a hostage, it is a hostage you cannot shoot. as a very practical matter, if we go over the debt ceiling, we do not increase the debt ceiling, republicans will not win the debate. they will argue they are not increasing it because they do not want to control spending but they will not win the debate. what will happen is the white
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house will pay with cash flow of the interest on the debt. the debt will not be called. what they might not pay our social security checks. the moment the american citizen figures out they may not go out, the game is over. tenfold. because believe me, though congress can stand up to the senior lobby. so that is not a legitimate process to take the debt ceiling as the hostage. the appropriate goal, whether the debate should occur. the president gets to talk about the faults. he gets to talk about social security. we should be talking about spending. spending restraints. where is the logical place to do this? the logical place is on the sequestered. that is where the next pressure point should be. we should have the debate over how much spending should be restrained and how it should be
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restrained. the sequester is a 1.2 trillion dollar event. that is a number that fits neatly into the debate structure. the president got 600 billion in revenue. 1.2 trillion in spending restraint makes sense. the to match up rather equally. people say we already did 900 billion in spending restraint, so that is not fair. i am speaking the partisan position here. but the point is, the debate over the sequestered is the debate over how you control spending. the sequester is discretionary spending event primarily, but the debate on how you put off the sequestered should be a debate about how you dress -- you address entitlements spending. i happen to think there is a pathway for agreement that is logical and a win for both sides. the only way you get agreement is when both sides win.
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it is something like this, there are series of entitlement changes that do not impact immediately and leapfrog the president's term in office so the price he will pay will not be significant in the area of political capital, with -- but drew very significant steps. most of the entitlement concern is down the road driven event and the things that basically involve changing the ways we reimburse and tadema's and give people enough time to anticipate the change so they can build a life structure is the go into retirement to handle it. i happen to think what was already put on the table by the president, and that is changing from a regular cola to a chain: calculation. it only saves -- only 250-$300 billion. only in washington.
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it is a multiplier event. it compounds aggressively in the second 10 years. big, huge event. because inflation is so low, it really will not be fell dramatically by anybody in the near term. also, changing the age. phasing it in over 60 years so that no one under the age of 20 would be impacted by the change we make. nobody. you would have thought we would do it tomorrow. if the president is carrying the bully pulpit on that issue, you can do that. then of course there is a whole issue of changing medicare reimbursement from being utilization and cost plus system to be and out comes about your system. that will take time, but there is a lot we can do in that area that would produce massive savings. so there are things that can be done that would leapfrog the president's term but he scored a huge savings.
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if you want more revenue you have tax reform. they create more revenue. it is more complicated issue. clearly, there is a pathway to get this done. it needs to be done. and we have an opportunity to do it if the republicans take the right hostage in the next round. thank you very much. [applause] >> we have just heard the answer. so we can all leave here feeling very good. i recommend you immediately call
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your broker and invest any funds you have in cash into the market and tell them judd gregg sent you. i think judd is right about this in terms of our overall economic condition, but we do face this extraordinary challenge in the near term. before i get into that and let me thank leading authorities for organizing this. i have so enjoyed joining your team. i get to be the same -- i get to be on the same team as judd greg and that is something that delights me. in the united states senate, he and i were chairman and ranking member of the committee. we were on a trip to central america and south america. during that trip, we came up with the concept of a commission to deal with our runaway deficits and debt. and during those long plane rides, while our wives sat
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patiently listening to us, we went over how it commission may be fashion, what the goals might be, how it might operate in order to achieve a result. we came back with the idea of the statutory commission. a commission set in law. when we took that i get to our college for a vote in the united states senate, we got 53 votes for that proposition. unfortunately, in the senate, you need 60 votes. so we were seven votes short. interestingly enough, seven of our original cosponsor of voted no on the day of the vote. if we would have had those seven original co-sponsors -- co-sponsors, we would've had a commission that is in law and that may have made a profound difference. because we did not, we had to go to an executive order commission, at a commission ordered by the president of the united states, which became the -- which became the
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bowles-simpson or the simpson-bowles commission on which we both serve. you may be wondering how is it that come if you had 11 of 18 votes that it did not go to a vote in the congress? normally, 60% of the vote carries the united states senate. but on the commission, the requirement was to have to have 14 of the 18 agreed. so we were three short. but we did put together a plan that serves a very -- serves as a very good blueprint going forward. and it is a blueprint that i still think has relevance today. i thought, since we're now on the brink of another debt limit fight, that it might be useful
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to kind of review where we are. as judd knows so well, i am not comfortable unless i have slides and charts. so let's go to the chart. when we look at where we are, if it can start with the first slide, we are borrowing 31 cents of every dollar that's was spent. that is an improvement because we were borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. so we have some improvement. but that is an unsustainable circumstance. you cannot be borrowing 31 cents of every dollar that you spend. when we look back at how we got in this situation, obviously, deficits are a function of the relationship between spending and revenue. the red line on this chart is the spending going back to 1950 as a share of our gross domestic product. the green line is the revenue line. what you can see is the gap between those two. we were spending a 22.8% of gdp
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in 2012. that difference represents a deficit of $1.10 trillion. you can see that we are very close to being at a 60-year high in spending and very close to being at a 60-year low in revenue. so i would say to those who say that we just have a spending problem, i think you have that half right. we have a spending problem. we also have a revenue problem that needs to be addressed. let's go to the next slide if we can. the result of these deficits and debt is that we now have a gross debt that is more than 100% of our gross domestic product. you can see right in the middle, in 2012, the gross debt of united states has now reached 104%. why does that matter? the best academic research, a book by rogoff of harvard
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reinhardt, it looked at 200 years of economic history and concluded, once you get a gross debt of more than 90% of your gross domestic product, your future economic prospects are dramatically reduced. future economic growth is reduced anywhere from 25 to 33%. so these are not just numbers on a page. this is a question of future economic opportunity. how will the economy grow? what kind of life will people leave? -- lead? when you get to a gross debt of gdp, your future economic prospects are reduced. we have talked about the revenue side of the equation, the spending side of the equation.
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looking at the revenue -- i showed a slide earlier this showed revenue at 15.8% of gdp. typically, if you look at the economic history of the country in the last 30 years, average revenue has been about 18.6% of gdp. but the last five times we balanced the budget, revenue was not at 18.6% of gdp. it was close to 20%. revenue and the times would balance was close to 20% of gdp. that kind of sets up the question of what the president proposed. because he was calling for $1.60 trillion of additional revenue. remember that that -- he was calling for $1.60 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. to put that in context, how much
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revenue are reprogrammed to raise over the next 10 years? that number is $37 trillion. so $1.60 trillion increase in revenue is 4% increase. we cannot have an increase of 4% in revenue? of course we can. i think part of the problem we have in washington is that no one knows what these numbers mean. if we put this in context, 4% additional revenue over the next 10 years, certainly, we can do that. let's go to the next slide. the same is true on the sending spending on the spending side of the equation. let me just say that i use these slides on the floor of the senate to persuade my colleagues to negotiate up. when the president laid down his plan and the speaker laid down
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his plan, i went to the floor of the senate and said, him, let's take the presence revenue number and let's take the speaker's spending proposal, let's take them both. but the them together and let's have a package that actually gets the job done. because together, their proposals would have met $4 trillion of the deficit and debt reduction, which virtually every economist says is necessary to sterilize the date -- to stabilize the debt and really bring the number down and put us on this drought -- put us on a sound fiscal course. so take the president's revenue proposal, will put $6 trillion, which is less revenue than we had in the simpson bowles proposal -- if you take the same base line, simpson bowles has more revenue than the president was proposing. let's take the savings that the speaker was proposing on health care. he said $500 billion over 10
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years. again, if we put that in context, we will spend over 11 trillion dollars on health care. so the spending proposal that the speaker meat represents 4.5% of the health care spending over the next 10 years. we can't save 4%? really? what company in america face with a circumstance that we have would say, oh, no, that is too tough. we cannot save 4%. yes, we can. let's go to the next slide. especially if you put in context where we are in health care expenditures in the world, the most recent years that we have comparisons with other countries was 2010. we know that we are now at over 18% of g.d.p. many this country.
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nobody else is more than 11.5%. the idea that we cannot have additional savings on health care and not hurt anybody is preposterous. we absolutely can have savings in health care. and when you have savings in health care, 40% of that savings flows to the federal government and federal programs because federal government is funding 40% of the health care in this country. so we have big savings in health care. we have big savings in federal government. discretionary savings, the speaker proposed $300 billion over 10 years. again, if we put that in context, we will spend $11.60 trillion over the next 10 years. that would represent a savings of 2.6%. as judd indicated, we are have $900 billion in savings in the budget control act. so there are substantial savings that have already accrued in this area. but we can do another $300
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billion. we can save another 2.6%. other mandatory, that is the other major canned -- major category. the speaker proposed $200 billion. we will spend $5.10 trillion in this category. over the next 10 years. so that represents again a savings of 4%. what have we begun -- what have we become as a country if we cannot make a 4% change? really. that is something we should be able to do. so, under the compromise that i propose, taking the speakers numbers, taking the president's revenue, you can see how it wraps up to a total of over $4 trillion of savings over 10 years, which is, as i indicated what virtually every economist says is necessary to get us back on track. we are borrowing 31 cents of
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every dollar we spend, but we're also on a long-term trend. according to the congressional budget office, if we fail to act, we are failed to a debt that is not 100% of their gdp. it will be 200% of our g.d.p. the budget control act has already dropped discretionary spending to historic lows. you can see and the budget control act, we will go down to 5.3% of gdp going to discretionary spending, down from 8.3% last year. and 13.6% back in 1968. so you can see we are already making substantial changes on the discretionary side now. where we really need to focus --
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judd made this point. medicaid, medicare and other federal health benefits going into dp, looking for two 2050, you can see -- in 1972, we were spending 9% on health care cuts. we are headed for spending 12% of gdp. this is the 800-pound gorilla. this is the problem we have to confront. by the way, social security is pretty stable as a share of gdp. it has gone up a little bit and it will go below more with the baby boom generation. that is not the problem. here's the problem. if you look at the fiscal commission plan, it had -- if you look at current comparisons -- over $5 trillion of deficit reduction. it lowered the deficit to 1.4% of gdp in 2022.
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it stabilizes the debt by 2015. it even further reduced discretionary spending. it built on health reform savings, called for social security reform and provided specific things to do to get social security solvent for the next 75 years. and it also included fundamental tax reform that raised revenue. and raised quite a bit of revenue, $2.40 trillion, would have been revenue. revenue not required through raising rates, but revenue that would come through reforming the tax code, reducing preferences, exclusions that are shot through the tax code to actually be able to reduce rates and raise additional revenue. for anybody that wonders, can you really do that? remember that tax expenditures
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are running $1.20 trillion a year. we are spending more through the tax code than we are through all of the appropriated accounts of the federal government. this is what happens to the deficit as a share gdp under the fiscal commission plan. you can see dramatic improvement. the fiscal cliff plan, what was just adopted, you'll know the elements here. we turned off the sequestered for two months the unemployment extension was included for a year and the farm bill was extended for a year.
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but don't let anybody tell you that that had anything to do with deficit reduction. because here is what the congressional budget office says. the total revenue loss from the proposal is $3.60 trillion. that is from extending all the bush era tax cuts, except for the top 1%, and the permanent fix to the alternative minimum tax -- those two things lose $3.60 trillion of revenue. additional spending, three and a $32 billion. so the deficit was increased by $4 trillion. and that does not count debt service. so we just dug the hole deeper. and anybody that tells you this thing raised net revenue over 10 years, no, it did not. it absolutely did not. because, when you fix the alternative minimum tax for 10
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years, that cost you $1.80 trillion. so you picked of $650 billion by raising the rate on the top 1%, but you have permanently fix the alternative minimum tax, which come in below, would generate 1.8 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. what is bigger? i will tell you that republicans should have been celebrating this as a massive victory, a massive tax cut because, in fact, that is what has occurred here. this is a big tax cut. so i say to you, in terms of what has to happen next, i think it will require the revenue side of the equation and the spending side of the equation to be addressed. let me conclude by saying this. how do we get out of this in the current circumstance? the president says he will not negotiate on the debt limit. republicans say they will not
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vote for excess and on the debt limit unless they get substantial additional cuts in spending. i think judd is absolutely right. we have another dynamic at work here. and that is the sequester. $1.20 trillion of across-the-board spending cuts, half in defense and half in non-defense. republicans don't like it. democrats don't like it. that creates an opportunity. there's also the question of how long do you extend the debt limit. i think it would be incredibly foolish to renamed on the debt of the united states. -- to renig on the debt of united states. but how long we extend the debt limit, that is open to negotiation. and between the two of how long you extend the debt limit and how you deal with the sequestered gives you an opportunity for another attempt at a grand bargain.
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revenue and spending restraint, especially on mandatory programs to get america back on track. we can do it. we have done much tougher things before. this is an next opportunity to put america in a premium position in the world. if we solve this problem, there's nothing that can stop the united states from continuing to be the most important and dominant country in the world. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. we will open it up to questions. i would like to start with one. we know what the problem is. and we sort of know how to solve it. but we are confronted by the reality of the political
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dynamics on the hill. a republican house that was elected within their districts by large margins and president who won an election. how do we bridge the gap? how do we actually get the deal done. >> we have a system that is incremental in nature. we're not a parliamentary system where, if you control the government, you can move very quickly and aggressively. i have always said that the american politics is played on the 40-yard line. and both sides feel very strongly about their philosophical position. but there is a deep identity of interest that i think needs --
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leads to premature should lead to agreement. if you're the president of united states, there are two events that you know may occur in the next four years, which could totally derail your capacity to do the of the things you want to do about the nation, your positive agenda. the first is the terrorist and weapons of mass destruction. i think this president has been dedicated to intelligence gathering and his use of various capabilities to reduce that threat. and secondly, the issue of the financial crisis driven by the market's losing confidence in our currency because of the fact that they take a look at the charts that he put up thereand say these folks can figure it out. and that will happen. it is not a question of whether it will happen. that will happen. at some point, somebody will
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wake up in the financial markets someday and say, the dollar is not paid what they claim is worth because they cannot pay it back without deflating the dollar. you don't want that to happen on your watch because it will sidetrack the economy. so the president has an incentive to come to the table and get this issue under control. can you have the republican position -- and you have the republican position. the dna is that you have to get the spending under control. the question really becomes the politics of getting people to go across the aisle to reach agreement. i don't think the house can do it, to be honest with you. so many seats in the house now are gerrymandered by party.
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the one thing that happens in those districts, about 65% of the house is now gerrymandered by party. your elected by your base -- you are elected by your base. the one thing you're based won't tolerate -- governing in our system means compromise. you cannot go across the aisle because your threatened immediately on reelection. -- -- because you are threatened immediately on reelection. i think the leadership has to come from is the president. the president has to be interested in to this issue and lead. he has allies in the senate who are willing and capable of going across the aisle. the senate has a very strong working senator. it is almost half of the senate that is willing to move on very big and aggressive package if they get leadership. and then you take the package it comes out of the senate any good to the presidential leadership
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and speaker boehner would be supported as long as it came in a way that was structured and you get something done. >> i really agree with that. in a curious way, both sides need each other. why do i say that? a debt limit has to be extended. it has to be. this is not our future spending. this is about spending has already been done. will we pay the bills that we have already racked up? clearly, we have to do that. the consequences of a failure to extend the debt limit would be extraordinary. to do that, you have to get votes of people in the house of representatives. and they are insisting on additional spending restraint. in fact, we need additional spending restraint. if anything is clear from the charts i have put up your is that we have to get some additional restraint on the entitlement side of our budget.
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so it does lend itself to a compromise, one in which there is additional revenue, not from raising rates, but through tax reform, which happily something the country needs anyway. does anybody believe this tax code that we have makes any sense at all? i don't know of a single democrat or a single republican that would sit here and say this tax code can possibly be supported on any grounds. it is not fair. is not rational. it is not easy to abide by. and it is hurting our competitive position world. it just seems to me that we have a continuing opportunity to have a compromise. and one that will get us back on track. it does require leadership. i have always believed it had a start in the senate because that
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is where there's still a broad middle to really lead to have action. >> we would like to open it up to questions from you all. if you could raise your hand -- i think we have one over here. and if you could please state your name and organization please. >> tony cosell with bloomberg government. you both seem to indicate that there is positive momentum behind tax reform. is that on the individual side? is that on the corporate side? is it on both? how do you handicapped the prospects for that say in the next one year or two years to get something done? >> i think it is on both sides. as you know, and a statutory rate is now the highest rate in the world, in the industrialized world come in terms of corporate tax. our effective rate is substantially lower than that.
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unfortunately, some companies pay for a close to the statutory rate. clearly, we need to change the corporate tax. that cries out for reform. the individual -- you know, i just find it grossly unfair that some people who are making staggering amounts of money to pay much less of a tax rate and the -- then the people were working for them. -- than the people who are working for them. so i think in the next year you've got an opportunity for tax reform on both sides. >> i think they have made it clear that they're interested in moving this way. i don't see how you get this deficit under control unless you change the tax laws because the template of simpson bowles has
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two extremely event -- extremely aggressive models. we eliminated $1.10 trillion of deductions. we took a trillion dollars of debt and reduced rates. i think the rates were 9%, 15% and 23%. that's order template makes a lot of sense. republicans want to see rates down. on the democratic side they want to see it done because they see these tax deductions at special interest. there is an interest here. plus, both sides want more fairness.
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on the corporate side, i think it is critical that we have tax reform. one of the keys to has to be addressed is the issue of some territorial system. we have trillions of dollars sitting overseas incorporations the cannot give back to tinian and states without paying a 35% tax to get it back. and you have a scoring mechanism that says, if you bring a dollar back and you don't pay the tax on it, the government does not get the 35 cents. so we never get the money back. there needs to be some sort of territorial system and understand the labor force -- labor opposes this because they think that companies may move more money offshore because they will see a lower tax. to bring the money back care
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means you will get better investment here, more expansion of capital and equipment here and more jobs here. so we have to go to some sort of territorial system. >> over here. >> thank you to both of you for coming this morning and for your service. i have two questions. the first one is can you talk about your sense about the potential for interest deduction. the bowles simpson would have modified the mortgage interest deduction. and why is vote -- why is social security technically part of the discussion? >> raising the cap on social security was part of bowles simpson. on mortgage interest, i think,
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ultimately, there will be a chance that -- but perhaps -- the plan talk about the credit, doing it as a deduction, not allowing it to go to second homes. i don't think that 500,000 would be adopted. currently, it is a million. i think second homes can be excluded at some point. as part of an overall package. that is if an overall package it's done. as i have indicated. i still remain hopeful that one will be done. it is so needed. and it is hard for me to see this doing -- this done if both sides don't work together. i really believe there is the possibility of getting this done.
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>> i served on the ways and means committee. one thing that was necessary -- first, you had to have the president. secondly, you cannot pick up one group. you never win. you have to do everybody. i don't think there's any question. the four major sources of revenue -- the four major sources of deductions that create revenue will have to be impacted. that includes real estate, charitable, state and local, and health insurance. because that is where all the deductions occur in the individual side.
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>> as congress looks at cutting expenditures, rates and revenue, how will it value things that he people today, such as health care expenses, versus retirement savings, which arguably are more of a long-term it to the economy and to people who saved to fund their retirement? >> >> let me just say that my own belief is that we have to be smart about this. i don't think we should do things that would disincentivize savings. if you don't have savings, you don't have investment.
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if you don't have investment, you don't grow. but our current incentives with this tax code are all upside down. so we disincentivize savings because we tax it. we shouldn't do that in terms of helping people build for their own retirement. that means they need to be in savings vehicles. social security is one, but they also need to be in other tax preference savings vehicles. i don't think it would be smart to hurt those. >> i certainly agree with that. but i think there's a bigger matter at play, which is the policy of the fed, which is basically creating a situation because of the low-interest policies. where seniors savings are being dis popincentivized in a very
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aggressive way -- being disincentivized in a very aggressive way. >> we have time for one more question. >> good morning. thank you both for your remarks today. very interesting. another discussion that has occurred among some economists is that is not questioning the fundamental assumptions of what you have brought here, but the timing, that the focus should be more about stimulating the economy coming folks up and working and then have a discussion of the deficit. because, in fact, the credit is relatively easy. the dollar is still in effect the currency standard. if i could just have your thoughts on that and, just quickly, reducing corporate tax reform discussion will occur in the next six months.
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>> there is always an excuse for not doing things in washington. and the excuse today is, well, you don't want to retard the economy. the simple fact is that the best thing you can do for this economy is to resolve our fiscal problems because it will give people confidence in our future. it will cause people to go on and be willing to invest. and it would say to our kids you have a prosperous life style has opposed to having to pay for our generation. i just don't accept this argument. surely, there are some short-term things you don't want to do that will contract spending. that will not happen anyway. i just don't see that happening. i think the sooner we get on this issue of resolving our long-term fiscal problems, the more dynamic our economy will be because we have done that. >> let me say that i am in the
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pack -- in the camp that believes that the major problem in the economy is facing is weak demand. that is not the time to impose fiscal austerity. but it is the time to put in place a plan that gets us back on fiscal track over the longer term. that is precisely what bowles-simpson attempted to do. because we did not impose austerity immediately. we had a several-year gap. but it put in place the long-term changes that gave you an assurance that you were going to get back on track for the 10-year budget period. after all, we have just had the toughest economic downturn since the great depression. i think we have to be sensitive to what you do in the short term.
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but that is no excuse for taking action that gets us back on track long term. the happy part about this is the the tax changes and the spending changes that you need to make have enormous benefit, not only in the 10-year budget window -- even if you give several years delay to allow the economy to recover -- but the real big bonus is what great was talking about earlier. the second 10 years and the third 10 years. if you make these fundamental changes now, they pay massive dividends into the future. >> i'm sorry, but we are out of time. you're welcome to come up. i want to thank both senator conrad and senator gregg. in a town where we're used to shouting at each other, when ashley had a pretty intelligent and smart discourse this morning. i would like to remind the audience that both senator conrad and senator gregg art available for speaking.
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we hope you will look to them for meetings that are coming up. there is a saying that there is no free breakfast. but this is almost free. the only thing we would like to ask of you is, before you leave today, there is a short questionnaire if you do -- a short questionnaire. if you do it, we will be grateful. i want to thank our sponsors and our partners at the u.s. chamber of commerce. thank you so much. have a great day. [applause] >> tonight on c-span the international monetary fund. later a for yum on poverty in america. >> the greatest honor that history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. this honor now beckons america.
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the chance to help lead the world at last out of of the valley of turmoil and on to that high ground of peace that man has dreamed of since the dawn of civilization. >> this weekend on american history tv, the back story with the american history experts. they explore the history of presidential inaugurations. part of three days of american history tv right through inauguration day on c-span 3. international monetary fund held a press conference to talk about the global economy. what she is the economy is improving. a $4 billion bailout package for
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greece was announced. this is 40 minutes. thank you for being here. a few comments to begin with. there are varies comments about what it seems to be like and i'm trying to think of how wei think it encapsulates what we're trying to say. clearly, the collapse has been avoided in many corners of the world due to policies quite often put through by central
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bankers and eventually by government authorities, particular the advanced economies. whether you look at the you -- the eurozone or the united states of america -- although often at the last hour -- the right decisions have been made. and as a result, the collapse has been avoided. there's still a lot of work to be done. that is why we should avoid the relapse and make sure that none of the decision makers and none of the authorities actually relax. assuming there is a little bit of recovery in sight and because the markets in particular have clearly anticipated good news that it is time to slow down, slow the pace, and go back to business as usual.
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what does this mean in terms of policy? i will mention three key areas. first of all, it is important to pull through policies and put uncertainty to rest. for those of you who followed carefully, we're trying to associate uncertainty and confidence. this is not clearly definite yet in terms of investment, but it is in terms of consumption. removing uncertainty plays a key role in rejuvenating confidence. so putting away uncertainty by following through on policies is important from our perspective. what does that mean? key common challenges along the advanced economies will be about restoring fiscal sustainability.
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i'm sure you have questions about this issue and i will be happy to take them. in terms of fiscal sustainability, we are particularly concerned about the medium-term plans. there are clearly some short-term policies that need to be adjusted country by country and with the right chemistry. we're concerned about the medium-term in order to bring public debt down at the pace that is for each country. that is a common feature for all economies, particularly the advanced economies. as far as the euro area is concerned, we feel that a lot has been achieved in terms of policies, in terms of new tools in the tool box that europeans have available to fight crisis.
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yet fire walls have not yet proven operational. progress needs to be made on banking union and clearly continued, if not further monetary easing will be approved in order to sustain demand. for the united states, we think that all sides should pull together in the national interest, avoid further avoidable policy mistakes that is threatening -- that is continuing to agree on the debt ceiling and reaching agreement on the medium term debt reduction that i mentioned earlier. for the non-events economies, i am putting together the emerging markets as well as the low income countries,
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clearly, those countries are fearing a much better case in terms of growth. but everywhere i have travelled in the last few months, in africa, in latin america, and in asia, there has always been a concern about the lack of decisive action to address the advanced economies crises. so those spillover effects coming colluding busy so those spillover effects, including -- so those spillover effects, of.including uncertainty, are clear. reducing uncerainty will be key to the healthy of the global economy and allow them to grow at a pace for their population. this is excessively too general. when you go down the list of the emerging market economies, some of them are much more vulnerable and open to the risks of contagion or spillover
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effects of the advanced economies. some of them are more interconnected regionally and less prone to those risks. but overall, in the main, there is that clear risk, which leads us to recommend to them that they actually improve and increase the buffers that they have already used and which they need to replenish. that is the first imperative that dimension, which is to follow through in policies to eliminate uncertainty. the second point is in our critical of you because it is at the heart of the latest development of the crisis -- which is to finish the reform of the financial sector. we recognize that there has been progress. but the process has been very time consuming and continues to contribute to uncertainty.
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we sense a sign of waning commitment. there's still a momentum, but it is probably not as crucial as it was and we really regret it. you can see that when we examine the reforms were some of them are slightly diluted, softened at the margin, where implementation is the late that is clearly the case with bas 03, for instance. there are inconsistencies of approaches, which have laid the ground for possible arbitration. and we believe that it is important for the regulators, for the supervisors, for the authorities to actually resist aggressive industry pushed back. further weakening of capital lending standards, there have been discussions on the
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liquidity coverage ratio, which has been concluded and it could have been better. we did not see enough progress on the cross border resolution, which has been recommended by your know by the fsb, but has not resulted in regional and country levels. and we certainly see delays in regulation concerning both shuttle banking and derivatives. the ultimate goal of the finance regulation massive work in is to be completed, the needs to be done on an accelerated rather than a slowdown basis clearly has to do with the growth of the real economy and that is my third key point. clearly, authorities come up policy decision makers have to focus on the real economy.
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what we mean by that? i mean clearly focused on growth and not just any growth, but growth that develops jobs. what we're seeing is improvement on certain fronts, but deterioration and certainly no improvement on the employment front, which we recognize as critical from both an economy point of view, but also from a social point of view. they're more than 200 billion -- 200 million people out of a job and two in five of those unemployed people are under 24. there's a clear concentration in some areas, including in the events economies. so we need growth for jobs and jobs for growth. we encourage policymakers to try to engage. we need inclusive growth and won the chairs appropriately the
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-- one the shares appropriately the benefits with the population. that applies across the world, both in events economies as well as the emerging markets and low-income countries. i have traveled to quite a few income country lately where we have a partnership where we have technical assistance with programs. it means transforming the energy, subsidies program into cash transfers come into social state units that are properly targeted to the people that actually need the support and not across the board and generally benefiting anybody,
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especially those that don't need it at all. finally, we need balanced growth. we need to continue the shift and demand from the advanced economies to the new engines in the emerging market economies. that is one aspect of the balancing that is needed, a rebalancing. we also mean by a more balanced growth, growth that is more compatible with the sustainability of our environment and the fight against climate change. what does the need for us? i remind you that, in 2013, the imf is stronger, better equipped financially. it has certainly refined some of its tools. we'll continue to strengthen our surveillance, especially on spillover effects and on the financial sector. we will continue to strengthen our support for the entire spectrum of members through lending, capacity building, training and technical assistance.
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in other words, we're not only serving the needs of a selected group of companies -- a group of countries, but the entire membership. when you look at the world and see where our teams are, where there is building and technical assistance in programs, we are all over the map. and we will continue to push ahead with the important and not complete reform of " and governance. we are in three stages, two are completed. we are certainly short of a few members, one of which is obviously a key member. that is all everyone into open bar conference with. i will welcome your questions
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and be address each and every one of them -- and address each and every one of them. i hope i will have the right answer for you. i will not pretend that i know it all. i try to learn a lot in the process. >> thank you, managing director. let's begin down in front. right here. >> thank you. thank you for this opportunity and for this press conference and for talking with us. i am with the russian news agency. you will be meeting the russian prime minister in a few days. i wonder how you view the russian agenda in the context of the aims to have just described. and if you could maybe change something in that agenda, what would it be? thank you.
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>> i would not change the venue because i am very glad to go to moscow and st. petersburg at the end of the year. i am happy about the timing. i think st. petersburg will be a little bit warmer, i think. as far as the russian agenda for the g-20 is right because it is focused. to have as priorities the ways and means to restore and maintain growth and create jobs, number one, number two, the continuation and completion of the financial sector reform. number three, using the mutual process to guide countries' economies, i think those are important agenda items. there might be more, but those are the ones we are really concerned about.
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and where the imf connection help them provide advice and support. we will be very happy to support the russian presidency on these three agenda items. >> thank you. >> right here in the center. >> thank you for this opportunity. i wonder about your assessment. we saw very frustrating growth last year. and there's no greater expectation that there will be a better result this year. we also have the inflation raising, a very concerned situation in our physical sector.
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despite this, brazil is actually one country where we don't have very good economic growth, but we still have job creation. so it is one of those very unusual situations. i wonder your assessment on that. >> in a way, i share your concern about the brazilian economy. it has grown and certainly less than initially expected. but having said that, the real question is to really end stand whether it is growing at capacity or whether there is an output gap that could be filled in by appropriate macroeconomic policy measures.
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>> ok. >> i will leave it like that. >> gentleman with his hand up. >> elaborating on the financial reform, you seem to be attributing some of the recent events to push back from industry. i wonder if you feel the process has reached the limits of what it can do at this point and whether we will be left with an incomplete response because of the concerns about credit provision. >> two points on that. i am always concerned about the push back of the banking industry. it is the nature of the game and it is the constant approach to push back.
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i might be a little bit -- having observed the profession. equally, i do not think appetite for growth, the need for jobs, and the necessary level of investments is not consistent with having the financial regulations in place with the right level of certainty with appropriate supervision. what the financial regulation reform aims at is to make sure there is security, protection, credit available for investors to develop activity, invest in
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the economy, and create jobs. i do not see that as being mutually exclusive. the concern we have about the growth of jobs and investment is supported by the need to have a financial sector that is vibrant, focused on the right priorities, that is appropriately supervised, and that is regulated. regulated with certainty. >> the lady way over here on the right. >> thank you. i am with the portuguese public television. what to expect from portugal this year. what do you expect the portugal authorities to do in the short term? >> thank you very much.
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portugal has done an extremely good job of reducing the fiscal deficit two-thirds of the way has already been completed. we have just approved yesterday the review and dispersed close to a billion dollars, which was the next tranche of the portuguese program. there is still work to do. we stopped the collapsed. let's avoid the relapse. we know that more fiscal contraction and consolidation is needed going forward. we have made a range of proposals. they are just proposals for the moment. the portuguese authorities have to decide what is most appropriate in the context of portugal and if they have other
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options that are best accomplished in order to accomplish the fiscal consolidation and preserve the chemistry of portuguese society, that is perfectly legitimate. there is a bit more time to go, a bit more work to do. the end of the program and we hope growth and jobs of the end of the day, which is really what matters. 16% unemployment rate, over 30% with the young people, that is the key priority. >> gentlemen in the front. >> [inaudible] >> can you wait for the microphone? >> parts of austerity may have
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been underestimated. i wanted to know if you shared that opinion. >> i we share the opinion of my chief economist. i will challenge him eventually. at the end of the day, i do not challenge the findings because they have been solidly worked out. clearly, research was done and research is constantly done. the imf does not operate on the basis of principles that are set in stone and forever. the pride of this institution is to constantly questioned, challenge, revisits, reexamined, test the findings and the assumptions in order to be as up-to-date as possible. the numbers that have been used five or six years ago where numbers that had been examined, reviewed, explored, and were common to all of the professionals in the field.
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you were talking about fiscal multipliers. the crisis that we have come through is unparalleled, has no historical precedent and has reshuffled the assumptions fiscal multipliers. it is a work that was put back under review, and for which the teams here have concluded that the fiscal multipliers were higher in the context of the unbelievable international crisis. that is the reason why the research departments decided to come out, publish, explain what our new findings were that were clearly informed and transformed by the context of the international crisis.
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>> gentleman in the second row. >> the fund has now gone into a new program with greece. it seems to have stretched the parameters in terms of debt reduction. how long this can go on without getting a true debt reduction for a country like greece? do you think there is some specific time periods where you need to see that before people will lose faith yet again? >> i am pleased that you see people have regained faith in greece and that confidence has been restored and this time, it is different. we have yesterday approved to reviews and disbursement of two
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of charges under the existing programs. it is not really an existing program -- revisited in the sense that we had asked and the partners have eventually agreed that an additional two years were needed for greece to accomplish the fiscal contraction that is still needed. we thought it would be better for the country to have more time. equally, the clear variation from the set of principles applying to the programs, which has changed, is the renewed financing support and general support on the part of the european partners. the commitment they have made to not only to extend the maturity of their loan, not only reduce the interest rates, but
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also provide what ever is necessary going forward in terms of additional support to alleviate the burden of the debt and greece. provided that the country delivers on its commitments. you cannot judge a commitment and the delivery against the commitment in a matter of a couple of months. my sense is that it is a matter of a year before the commitment can be measured against delivery. that is very important, of course, and it changes the face of the greek landscape. >> the lady right here.
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>> russia's central bank has said the world's leading economy are on the brink of a currency war to keep up with japan and japan's use of the devaluation to boost their competitiveness. germany's finance ministers also said he was concerned about the impact on global liquidity of japanese policy. what are your thoughts of the possibility of a currency war and on japan's monetary policies that seem to be aimed at weakening the yen? >> i do not like any war, the currency or otherwise. he was the first one, at the finance minister of brazil. i strongly objected to the idea. at the time i was the minister of finance.
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i am even more determined to argue against currency wars. it is against the principle of the imf. that caused the creation of the institution. we're not supporting in any shape or form of any such attempt to create devaluation into open currency wars. there are multiple ways to improve competitiveness other than to use currencies as a tool. that really summarizes the position of the institution. >> let me come back down to the front. >> i wanted to ask if you can tell us if there are mistakes
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happening over the last two years on behalf of the imf on the greek program. >> given where we are, in partnership with the authorities of greece, i am not interested in trying to rewrite history or blame anybody or point the finger. ok? my keen interest in my very strong hope is that we can continue to work together and that the greek people will supports the greek authorities in order to deliver the program, to make sure the country can come back to the growth, so that the people who have sacrificed can reap the benefits of their sacrifices.
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the structural reform will be conducted. it is necessary to collect on the sacrifices that have been made. the fiscal consolidation program that has been decided continues at the right pace with the additional two years we have suggested. extremely important, there is appropriate efforts to overhaul the tax administration of greece, to collect tax revenue, and to fight tax evasion. i forgot to mention the privatization program, which is also necessary. >> gentleman here in the third row. >> thank you. what is your insight on the
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chinese economy in terms of opportunities and challenges? what goals are on top of your agenda that you want to achieve in the new year it? thank you. >> global growth is not just the top of my agenda, it is on the top of the agenda of anyone who cares about the economy and jobs. growth is a very conducive factor. turning to china, i would certainly observe that there is continued significant and substantial growth expected out of china. i would observe there has been a rebalancing within the china
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economy with a focused on consumption rather than exports. i would observe that the currency of china has adjusted. my hope is that these trends we have observed continue into 2013 s and the new chinese leadership. >> thank you. >> how do you see the impact of what is happening in the arab countries on the economy is in the arab world? do you have any particular concerns about it?
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>> the imf is very engaged to support and help the arab countries that went through significant changes in the last couple of years. we have programs in place with the authorities in yemen, morocco, jordan. we are in negotiations with egypt and we will be starting negotiations with tunisia. that gives you an idea of the scope of our involvement.
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we believe an economic set of reforms and focus on growth must be applied to those economies that have gone through political transformations and that there has to be an economic response to the social restoration. that is what we did those economies have gone through the stress of the amounts of transformation and they now have to be settled in a more inclusive way. we would have to take each and every country to go into the economies. we want to partner, we want to give the signal to other contributors that the governments in place are serious about restoring the economic situation. we hope this will be the case.
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>> thank you. >> the gentleman to the left has been very persistent. >> good morning. associated press. i would like to ask you about argentina. i would like to know when the meeting will take place. whether recent contacts have provided any movement toward a solution. what is your main recommendation in your december report? >> my december report went to the board and not to you. he will bear with me if i do not disclose the contents of the report. the board meeting is currently scheduled for february 1. i can also tell you that we have had a mission on the ground with a view to putting in place a financial sector assessment program.
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that was a scoping mission, the preliminary mission where we discuss with the authorities would aspects of the financial sector we will review how. there should be a second visit in march that is separate from the issue. >> let's take the lady. that is you. >> my question is regarding the debt and spending issues of the united states. do you think how the united states can do the spending cuts properly can minimize the effect on economic growth at the same time? thank you. >> the obvious response to that
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is timing. spending cuts are necessary. they should be anchored in the medium term. they should be sufficient solid as to remove the uncertainty around them. they should clearly touch on entitlements. >> perhaps we can take two more questions. let's go to the front. >> hello. we are hearing the europeans do not want the imf to participate. can you tell us why two months after the statement that even should the november what you have no deal yet?
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>> the imf has been engaged with partners in relation to cyprus. we have had a dialogue with the cyprus authorities. the building blocks with a program have been put together. it has not yet been concluded because there are financing issues that need to be resolved in order for a program to be accepted. and for the debt to be sustainable. >> the lady here, thank you. >> if i can take you back to the arab world for a moment and ask you about the palestinian
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authority. do you have a plan to avoid the collapse of the palestinian authority? >> as far as the west bank and gaza are concerned, they are not members. it is not a member of the imf. we do not to lending for nonmembers. having said that, we do a lot of capacity building, a technical assistance. that is our other way of helping. as far as nigeria is concerned, we do not have any particular program, plans, technical assistance at the moment with that country. which i was planning to visit in march. >> last question, gentlemen way at the back. >> thank you. happy new year. dow jones.
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i am wondering if you have any concern that in europe the political system has been pushed to an extent that mort structural reforms to bring about the jobs and growth necessary will not be able to come about. >> the structural reforms could not come about? >> because of the political tensions have been pushed too far. but that is too much of a challenge for the structural reforms necessary. is their defense of the yen and the desire to continue to depreciate its supported by the imf?
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>> the attempt to reinvigorate growth and create jobs, that there are two sets the parameters. they have to be satisfied at the national level. whether you look at italy, spain, germany, netherlands, france, some of the central and eastern european countries, the requirements will be different. what we see in many of those countries is a determination to actually implement reforms. certainly, when you look at the recent agreement that was reached among social partners in france to reform the labor market, that is a good step in the right direction. when you look at the reform of the competition, that is a step in the right direction.
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when you looked at the labor reform of the spanish market, it is a step in the right direction. you have a whole layer of national steps that are in the making to improve the situation, at the responsiveness to economic factors. then you have another layer, which is the region. clearly, there are reforms that had taken place already that are significant in terms of fiscal discipline. in terms of the banking units is concerned. i would certainly be impatient to see what the banking union plan will be and what the common supervision system will be and deliver. i observe a lot of progress on that front. there is more to be done, but i do not think we can anymore accuse the europeans of kicking the can down the road because they are producing results. it should help them recover.
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the same principle applies. stop the collapse, avoid the relapse, they should not relax. on japan, clearly, the recently announced a fiscal and monetary package is intended to create growth in the short term. we do not think - it is not associated with a midterm solid anchoring that would indicate the determination to change the debt trajectory, reduce the deficit.
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we see any such measure as being part of an overall package. there is one part of the package that is missing. monetary policy with a different inflation targets is a good and interesting targets. >> thank you very much, managing director. thank you for coming today. we look forward to working with you in the year ahead. >> happy new year to you all. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the u.s. conference of mayors is meeting tomorrow. we will talk with two bears, scott smith and stephen benjamin. also bill adair and how president obama is delivering on campaign promises. and jack buckley and tom
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loveless of the brookings institution. like every day at 7:00 eastern on c-span. -- live every day at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> it was an important period of history. i felt their perspective should be brought to bear. there has been some other points of the crisis that was not entirely accurate. i thought it was an important for the historical record to present our perspective. i think currently for people to understand there were different policy options, disagreements. if we want to prevent another crisis from happening again, i felt the public needed to engage more on financial reform and educate themselves better and make it an issue with their elected officials. i tried hard to make the book accessible.
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>> the former head of the fdic, sheila bair on the worst financial crisis since the great depression. &a."y night on c-span's "q the american bankers association predicts weak growth and the prospect of a prolonged fight over raising the debt ceiling. the economic advisory committee chairman discuss their predictions at this news meeting. >> thank you, jim. good morning and thank you for coming. we had some interesting discussions over the last two days. i think the major take away from those discussions is that it is the view of the committee
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that the fiscal cliff agreement has created new headwinds for the u.s. economy in 2013. real gdp growth in the nine states in the first half of 2013 will be below 2% before accelerating to 2.6% in the fourth quarter. the committee believes that the combination of tax hikes, a prolonged fight over the debt ceiling, and the possibility of severe spending cuts in 2013 have the potential to really stop this recovery in its tracks. one thing you will notice from our forecast table is that the recession probabilities from the
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committee are higher than normal. we still have the probability of a recession at 23% and for 2014, 20%. that is a little bit higher than what we typically see. we think the private sector is poised for sustainable growth. i think the housing numbers point to one area of strength, the housing market. the tax hikes at the start of 2013 will create a drag on gdp of at least 1.25%. the potential for additional budget and spending cuts from sequestration could add to the downside risks. we think resolving the debt ceiling in a timely manner and providing more clarity on policies could actually generate a boost in confidence and open the door for faster growth in the second half of 2013.
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looking at the labor market, we see lackluster growth in 2013 wing on job creation. we actually see gains of slowing in the first half of 2013 before picking up. that is the slower than the fourth quarter. slower gdp growth is going to be driven, we think, by a consumer that is going to be hobbled by tax increases. we will remain positive in 2013, but not appositive in consumer spending over the fourth quarter the second half
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will be particularly weighed down by less money in their paychecks. and we think as the year progresses, the strength of the housing market, the while the effects of the home price gains and perhaps to improvement in housing could lead to somewhat stronger consumer spending. we did see a 12% gain in housing starts this morning month over month. 37% year over year. these are strong numbers. we did see improvement in home construction, home sales, and
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home prices this year. housing starts, we forecast, will be up 17.8% this year. residential construction of 15%. and we will see sales gains of existing homes up 7% and new home sales up 17% some strong numbers there. rising construction, we think it will be adding to gdp growth in 2013 of about two tenths of 1%. that will be a switch from what we have seen in the last several years of the housing downturn. rising home prices are also creating an important wealth effect and is creating strength among consumers. on the external front, the committee believes export growth loraine week in 2013, rising just 2.2% year over year.
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recessions in europe and japan will be holding back exports here in the united states. this will be another headwind to the u.s. economy in 2013. the u.s. dollar does not appear to be much of a factor. the dollar will likely end the year about where it began. on the inflation front, a another year of a lower trend. our forecast in west texas on crude oil should average about $90 per barrel in 2013, little bit less than what it averaged last year. some of the committee members
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have varying opinions on inflation. some of the members did feel that the accelerating growth in china and other emerging markets could put a bit of pressure on commodity growth and lead to inflation and the next 12 months or so. when we look at the continued treasury forecasts, the first quarter starting about 1.8%. and we will end the year a little over 2% by the fourth quarter of 2013. conventional mortgage rates to start the year about 3.5% and will end the year of about 3.7%. when you look at short-term interest rates, they will remain exceptionally low, as they are strongly anchored by
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fed monetary policy. when it comes to fed policy, the majority of the committee members saw qe3 as continuing at the continuing rate of asset purchases of about 85 billion per month and saw the majority of those increasing the fed's balance sheet by about $1 trillion this year. but there were varying opinions on the committee that the purchases may be scaled back before the end of the year. the federal reserve, certainly recently, adopted new threshold targets for the fed funds rate and the possibility of raising the fed funds rate. those targets threshold are set at 2.5% on the inflation forecast and 6.5% on the employment rate.
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and the committee does not see the economy hitting those inflation target any time soon. the content of the committee was that in some time in may, 2015 would be the most likely timeframe. there were various opinions on this as well. some thought it might not be in 2016 and others thought it would be in the middle of 2014. in terms of bank credit, we saw that the banking industry is starting to support the u.s. economy through financing of growth. we have a bank credit growth over the past year and we expect that credit growth to continue this year. landing, we think, will be up 6.5% in 2013. loans to consumers and individuals up 5% for the year. finally, on the federal budget deficit and debt, the committee sees that the budget deficit
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will continue to decline over the next two years. but we do not characterize the debt and deficit at unsustainably high levels. we do think the deficit is reduced to $925 billion in 2013 and narrowed further, to $728 billion in 2014. that is down from $1.1 trillion last year. that gives you an overview of the committee consensus opinion and i would be happy to answer any additional questions you might how about the committee's outlook. i will be happy to entertain other questions as well. yes? >> just to clarify a little bit on the gdp dragon on the tax hike, was that on the payroll and income tax increases?
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>> that is correct. >> the 1.25% drag, was that for the whole year? >> we think it will be for the whole year of fiscal 2013. >> with the labour market and some improvement on as quick as it was, there was some sentiment that it might be slowing down. >> we are seeing drags on consumer spending, but also from the ongoing recession in europe and japan. it will hold back export growth and be a head wind for u.s. manufacturing. we do think the monthly job gains could slow down a bit from the pace we saw in the fourth quarter. we might see a little bit of recovery has europe and japan start to grow.
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>> looking a the table where you alking about real gdp, there seems to be a wide divergence with what your panel saw before. what are you seeing that the fed is not? >> that is a good point. the question was, our four consensus forecast is quite a bit lower than the fed central tendency is for economic growth in economic 2013. i get a sense from our discussions that we see the fiscal drag as may be a bigger factor than maybe the fed did the last time they did their projections. particularly, the potential for a prolonged debt ceiling fight and the sequestration spending cuts that are still enacted to
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take place, unless legislation changes in march of this year. how democrat to slow growth is pretty large on the sequestration spending -- and the potential to slow growth is pretty large on the sequestration spending cuts. we see a multiplier from those cuts. the drag from that could be a bit stronger. one thing we did note in our discussions was that a lot of these in from the policy changes are static analyses. we know that confidence effects and multiplier effects could have a bigger impact than some of the policy centers here. >> is it true that the fed has a tendency to overestimate growth? >> i think it is true if you look at the last couple of years that they have overestimated growth in the year ahead. i will not say that is their
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pattern, but if you look at the record, in the past couple of years they have been a little too optimistic. >> as you know, japan has a new prime minister and he is pushing more monetary easing for the bank of japan. many private economists are focused on some upside division of the japanese economy this year. did you consider that in his focus? the global economy, how do you look at china or other emerging economies? >> we did not spend our time
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discussing japan. we spent most of our time discussing the fiscal risks here the u.s. because we see that as the number one concern for the outlook this year. the second is concerned is the eurozone crisis. while the financial pressures eased there, the fundamentals are still pretty weak and there is still concern about the financial crisis in europe coming back to haunt us sometime down the road. but yes, obviously, more policy in japan is something that would be helpful. we certainly want stronger growth abroad to help our exports and our economy. we talked about where growth might come from a globally and we certainly did see growth in
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south america and the emerging asia. that will help the global outlook to some extent. a lot of that growth is going to happen in the second half of the year rather than the first half. it will be a momentum thing that is going to change. even as a policy response in japan, which seems to be very forceful, there will be a delay before it starts to affect the japanese economy. >> how confident are you in your housing forecast? so much of what we saw last year was institutional investors. are you confident that this recovery is real? >> the consensus of the committee is, yeah, we think the recovery is real this time. it is not being supported by policy measures like the first time home buyer tax credit. and when you look at policy measures and household formation rates, we are hitting a bottom.
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and the fundamental root of piercing in housing starts and home sales is consistent with what we've seen in the house with housing recovery. we're coming from such low levels of activity that the committee believes this sort of activity at the current pace could continue for some time. we could correct double-digit rates and housing starts for the next five years and still not get back to where we were. like i said, there have been a lot of people at the lane buying in-house. and some of the people on the events seen the home prices rising may be entering the market. we still see investor demand as strong. there are not as many investors out there. a lot of economists have been looking for the shadow inventory of housing to hit the marketplace. but we have not releasing that. we are slowly working off the
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excesses'. we are seeing some green shoots there that we think will continue. >> and you see any impact at all for potential qe on the housing market? >> de see any impact at all for potential quantitative easing in the housing market? >> of the majority of the community thinks that it will continue at the current pace. so we don't really see much of an impact because we think long- term rates are going to be relatively low. should interest rates spike, that will change some of the committee members' views. for the most part, with inflation low, continued slack in the economy and elevated unemployment rates, it will remain an attractive area for the housing community.
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>> these projections are premised on what kind of resolution? >> it is a good question. everyone has factored into their forecasts at the beginning of the year. i think there are varying opinions on sequestration spending cuts kicking and or not. some on the committee believe we will see full sequestration spending cuts for the entire year. it that happens, it will be higher than a quarter of a percentage point. we will see a couple months of sequestration or not though. a wide opinion year -- in the consensus forecast.
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>> [inaudible] what does that say about the unconventional method for trying to boost the economy? >> what is fundamentally holding back job creation is the lack of demand. we are not seen the growth rates we need to see. i also think there is a lot of discussion around policy uncertainty. the uncertain environment that was prevalent here, it is adding to some of those concerns. what their tax rates are going to be. what areas the government will
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get back on spending, the default position is for people to wait. they tried to commit with investment project. >> [inaudible] we have seen a stabilization. as it hit the bottom? deal have thoughts on that? >> we talked about that and everything that surprised everybody, we have not seen a lot of people re-enter the labour force and wait for participation rates to trend down. there is stabilization we are starting to see, we might see a
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little more reentry in the labour force and job creation. but there are varying opinions on that. maybe they have taken earlier. the unemployment rate could be pushed higher. >> [inaudible] >> next on c-span, a former law eliminating poverty. the former senator's home discuss the federal budget and
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the debt. economic forecasts from the american bankers association. eric holder will be speaking at the u.s. conference of mayors tomorrow about gun violence. this will be cahow a new agenda. it will be 11:30 eastern speakin c-span and c-span.org call. >> the greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. this honor now beckons america. the chance to leave the world out of the valley of turmoil and to the high ground of peace that man has dreamed of since the dawn of civilization. >> making the benefits of our scientific advances and progress available for the underdeveloped
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areas. >> public radio's story. right through inauguration day on c-span 3. >> tavis smiley discussed eliminating poverty in the u.s.. it included former house speaker newt gingrich and the coast of the radio program. it happened this evening at george washington university in washington, d.c.. [applause]
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>> we are delighted to be here in the nation's capital on the campus of george washington university. we have been here now three years always trying to bring the nation to come to terms -- help the nation come to terms with an issue of national importance. for the last few years, we have been talking ad nauseum about the issue of poverty and how it is we get serious about making poverty a priority in this country. we will mix this up tonight. it seems to me that teetering on cliffs and bumping up against ceilings is not a good economic policy for a nation. we are going to talk tonight about what each and every one
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of us can do as americans, what agency we have to push our leaders to make the reduction and eradication of poverty a priority in this nation, and there is something specific that we want your help tonight to do to help push president obama as we sit here tonight on the campus of gw. the president will be inaugurated for a second term in just a few days, on a holiday honoring the person i regard as the greatest american this country has ever produced -- that is my own assessment -- martin luther king, jr. [applause] so the president will clearly be in the foreground, but dr. king looms large as the backdrop. now, word comes from the white house that they will use his
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bible for this historic and iconic celebration, so we will talk tonight about how we honor the legacy of dr. king by focusing more attention on the issue that he gave his life for -- the poor. king once said we have to civilize ourselves by the immediate abolition of poverty. obviously, we are not quite there yet, but we of tonight's conversation will aid us and of that as in trying to make sure that we look out for the least among us. i am pleased tonight to be joined by an all-star panel. i want to introduce them one by one and jumped right into the conversation. i want to start by thanking c- span for carrying this program live around the world tonight. [applause] thank you, c-span. as the conversation gets under way, we will tell you more about what you can do at home or wherever you might be watching tonight to join in the conversation, but for now, let me introduce the novice panel of persons who are going to mix it up tonight on this issue of poverty. i am pleased to be joined by the author of "fire in the ashes: 25 years among the poorest children in america." no one has written more about the link between education and
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poverty then my friend jonathan cole. she is the director of the center for hundred-free communities, and the associate prof. at augusta university's school of health. please welcome marian chilton. he has taught at harvard and princeton and is now teaching as professor of philosophy and christian practice at union theological seminary. i am honored to be co-host of a radio program with him. please welcome dr. cornel west. [applause] to my right, just off a plane literally a couple of hours ago from ethiopia, doing his work on poverty and as special adviser to the united nations, but when he is here in the states, as i'm glad he is tonight, he is director of the earth institute and professor of health policy and management at
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columbia, please welcome our friend jeffrey sachs. [applause] to my left, he was gracious to accept my invitation to be here tonight. if we're going to do something tonight about poverty in america, we have to mix it up. we will talk later in this program about what we want you to help us help the president to do. it will require both parties in this town come together, i am pleased to have tonight former speaker of the house and candidate for the white house himself, newt gingrich. she is executive director of the national nurses united and california nurses association, the national nurses organizing committee, and they are pushing an issue in this country that is starting to gain more and more steam called the robin hood tax. you are going to learn about it
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tonight. please welcome roseanne demoro. he is now the dean of university of indiana school of public affairs out with a new book just now, the first i know of that gives suggestions and ideas -- specific public policy ideas he believed both the left and right can agree on. please welcome my friend john gramm. and she has a new assignment, just elected the congressional chair of the black caucus out of ohio. please welcome congresswoman marcia fudge. [applause] jeffrey, i want to start with you, in part because you have come the farthest, i guess you get to go first. i will keep you awake.
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i want to start, though -- i'm not the one that likes to use a bunch of statistics because they can be hard to follow. because this program right now is being seen live across the nation, i want to make sure that those watching can get a chance to contextualize what happened with the issue of poverty across the nation. these are issues that come from 1989. here's what we know since 1989. i want to start in washington, the nation's capital, because this is where the last time we took poverty seriously -- to my mind -- the war on poverty, and we will debate that tonight, i'm sure, but the last time we took it seriously during the johnson years. that program started in washington.
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give me two minutes to give you some sense and this audience some sense of what has happened to poverty since 1989. talking specifically about income inequality -- the top 5% of washington, d.c., household -- in the nation's capital in the origination of the world -- the top 5% of households made more than $500,000 on average last year. top 5%. $500,000 on average last year. the bottom 20% made less than $9,500 last year. i'm no economist, but that is a ratio of 54 to one. the district of columbia, the nation's capital, is the worst of all the 50 states in the union. that is what income inequality looks like in the nation's capital. income inequality has increased in 49 of 50 states since 1989. the poverty rate increase in 43 states. most sharply in nevada. ravage of course by the housing bust, and in my home state of
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indiana, which sought a rise in low-paying jobs. in all 50 states, the richest 20% of households made far greater income gains than any other quintile, up 12% nationally. income for the median household fell with michigan and connecticut leading the way. the five largest increases in inequality -- get this -- the five largest increases in inequality in this country since 1989, all in new england. connecticut, massachusetts, new hampshire, rhode island, and vermont. a decline in manufacturing jobs, and in case you are wondering, hit new england's poor and middle pretty hard, while the highly educated benefited from the expansion of biotech, and you will not be surprised by this, finance. the only state that did not see the rise in inequality was the state i was born in. i grew up in indiana, but i was born in mississippi. the only state that did not see a rise in inequality, but get
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this -- it had an insignificant dip. the magnolia state was one of the few to post a small drop in poverty and a rise in income, but it still ranks as the worst in the nation on both counts. i want to give you some sense of what is happening with income inequality in this country since the year 1989. having said that, i want to start with you and just ask a question that is important as we sit here tonight on the eve of the inauguration on monday, on -- just days ahead of debt ceiling conversations, days after fiscal cliff negotiations. was that deal good for poor people? >> for 30 years, we have not addressed this issue, except for the wonderful work that you and cornel are doing in these
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wonderful people on the panel. politics has neglected the poor. one could say that there was a war on the poor rather than a war on poverty for much of this period. the united states has by far the most poverty of any of the high-income countries as a share of the population. we have the highest in quality. we have the most entrenched underclass. we have had the biggest increases of any quality by leastnd we've had the political response of any high- income countries, so we are standing out on our own. this has been a 30-year trend of
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soaring in comes at the top, stagnation in the middle, and falling through the floor on the bottom, and the political system has refused to address this for 30 years. so we have reached a calamitous situation in this country, but the fact of the matter is nothing that was done at the fiscal cliff and what lies ahead most likely will not in any deeper way address this crisis. >> how frightened, then, are you about poor people being stuck, i guess, between a rock and a hard place? how concerned are you about what is going to happen? we all know -- this is the big elephant in the room, these entitlement cuts. i sense and we all sense they will be on the table. we do not know what the president really is going to do. we know that we will not know until march how good this deal is until we get to those cuts, but how frightened are you? >> i think there is nothing we could predict that will make a decisive change in the issues we will be talking about right now because we have been squeezing government -- the so- called discretionary part of
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our budget. that is, the park for education, job training, labor markets, also for infrastructure, for the environment, climate change, for other issues -- that part of our budget is just continuing to shrink, and i think we will, unfortunately, look back after whatever deal is done in february, march, and so forth and see a near-disappearance of this part of our government. we are abdicating the most fundamental responsibility to take care of the people who are most in need and also to take care of our own future. i would say it goes beyond the question of poverty and goes to the question of a broken infrastructure, which we absolutely refused to address. when i come back from a trip abroad, i'm coming back to a rickety infrastructure in this country where you look at our airports and roads. the highways you travel are 50 years old because we are not reinvesting in this country right now.
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our problem is that we are not taking seriously any of our problems. of course, the poor are the most urgent. they are the ones clinging to hang on. when we had a disaster like hurricane sandy that hit the whole east coast -- people have been warning for years with the rising sea levels, the more intense storms, the climate change that we have to get our infrastructure right. we thought we found that out from hurricane katrina. of course, we did nothing because our government is not responding to any of the major challenges we have in this country. the idea, starting around 1981, was to starve the beast, so- called, to just get the size of the government down. one of the problems we have is an underclass that cannot find its way out and no longer has any kind of helping hand. >> i think jeffrey sachs just shanked you.
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and being funny. i thought i heard him say that one of the mistakes we made was back in the 1980's when you were around and running things. one of the mistakes was making our priority all about shrinking government. >> jeffrey sachs and i have a fundamental disagreement, and i suspect most of this panel will have a fundamental disagreement about a couple of facts. it is a fact that this coming march is the 49th anniversary of lyndon johnson declaring war on poverty. it is a fact we have spent over $16 trillion in those 49 years, and it has failed. i like your hashtag -- poverty must end. i agree entirely. but let me give you two dissenting views. the welfare reform program work.
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the greatest decrease in child poverty in america came under bill clinton with a republican congress in the late 1990's. that is just a fact. jeffrey is shaking his head. no, it is a fact. the lowest level of black children in poverty in history was 1997. you could make an argument that having a welfare system shift toward opportunity would work. >> i'm going to give you all the time you need. before that, what would you say then to those who read the "new york times" stories when they did to review 15 years after bill clinton's welfare to work program, that women and children were falling faster into poverty than anybody else? [applause] it was that program that helped push them in there? were they wrong? >> yes, but let me carry you two steps further. i have been working with a former california assembly leader on a project state-by- state to get people out of prison if they are there for non-violent crimes, to get them brought back into society.
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you cannot discuss how we will solve some of these problems without rethinking prison in america. [applause] ok? now that is a very difficult challenge for both parties. one last example, just to show you how we ought to be thinking differently -- unemployment compensation -- i just last week was with sebastian, who is at google, who taught a course with 151,000 people registered. 140,000 actually completed the course. the top 440 graduates were students who were not at stanford. they had taken the course and learned so much they'd be the highest-ranking stanford students -- date the highest- ranking stanford students -- they beat the highest-ranking stanford students. if you give people 99 weeks of unemployment, that should be an associate's degree. we have no provision today to say if you sign up for unemployment, here are courses you could take to help you get
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the skills so you could get a job. [applause] it is a fundamentally different approach. the key to poverty is productivity. the key to productivity is being honest about an underclass, in itself a very dangerous phrase. we do not have people who lack culture. we have people whose cultures are very destructive of their capacity to enter prosperity. [applause] >> let me ask just one question, and i want to get it out of the way so you can explain what you meant when you set it so that we can all hear it. i'm going to talk to mariana later in this conversation, and i know she wants to get into it. when you referred to barack obama as a food stamp president, tell me what you meant. that a vast majority who get food stamps are white. that could not possibly have been a reference to race. it takes the media to determine what i meant.
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he has followed policies which have limited job growth for the last four years. this is the weakest recovery of any period since the great depression, and if you do not get a recovery, you do not have jobs. if you do not have jobs, you are not in a position to help people get out of poverty because there's no place for them to go. we have had policies which make it relatively easy to extend unemployment, relatively easier to have food stamps, but we are not helping people get back to a level of investment and productivity that creates the kind of jobs we need to get out of here. you look at japan, which has been in recession since 1989. look at greece, which has over 25% unemployment. spain, over 25% unemployment. i worry about a recovery that is not creating jobs and not pulling people into a better future. >> i'm going to get everybody involved in this conversation. let me continue what i do of
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getting everybody at least initially involved. dr. west, let me come to you because i was running around doing some media today, and i understand you were as well. i actually was in the card today in the nation's capital when you were on a local radio program talking about this conversation tonight, so thank you for promoting that. i heard you start to sound off with regard to your thoughts about what it means for barack hussain obama to be sworn in to a second term as president on the king holiday. you heard the applause in this auditorium when i suggested that in my view, and i think in your view, that dr. king is the greatest american we have ever produced. we know he looms large. we know the inauguration is happening on the holiday. we know this is the first time a president will be inaugurated with the king memorial just down the street. his bible has been brought into the equation. help me, which you do so well given what you teach -- help me
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properly situate what is about to happen on monday vis-a-vis poverty in america. >> first, i want to salute you, my brother. we have been in the trenches now 20 years, sometimes misunderstood, sometimes divinize, sometimes ostracize, but we are stronger than ever, and we are still going. it is a blessing. but no one i got the news that my dear brother barack obama, president obama, was going to put his precious hand on martin luther king jr.'s bible, i got upset -- no -- know that when i got the news. you do not play with him or his people, people committed to peace and justice, and especially the black tradition that produced it. all the blood, sweat, and tears
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that went into producing a martin luther king jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you do not use his prophetic fire as just a moment in presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge that he presents to all of those in power, no matter what color they are. no matter what color they are. so the righteous indignation of martin luther king, jr., becomes a moment in political calculation, and that makes my blood boil. why? because martin luther king jr. died owing to three crimes against humanity he was wrestling with -- jim crow traumatizing, terrorizing, stigmatizing black people. lynching, not just segregation the way the press likes to talk about.
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second, bombs killing innocent people, especially innocent children. terribly, with poverty of all my blood boil. colors. he said it is a crime against humanity for the richest nation in the history of the world to have so many of his precious children of all colors living in poverty, and especially on the chocolate side of the nation, on indian reservations and brown arias and yellow slices and black ghettos. so i said to myself -- ok, there's nothing wrong with putting your hand on the bible, even though the bible is talking about justice, and jesus is talking about the least of these, but when it is martin's bible, i said this is personal for me because this is a tradition that i come out of. this is a tradition that is connected to my grandmother's prayers and my grandfathers sermons and my mother's tears and my father's smile, and it is against all of those in power
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who refuse to follow decent policy. so i say to myself, "brother martin luther king, jr., what would you say about the new jim crow? what would you say about the invisibility of our new prisoners?" especially when 50% of them are there for soft drugs but not one executive of the wall street banks has gone to jail. [applause] not one. martin does not like that. not one wiretapper. not one torturer under the bush administration. and what do you say about the drug is being dropped on the brothers and sisters in pakistan and somalia and yemen -- the drones being dropped? my voice hollers out, and do not take it with your hand on his bible.
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what would you say about the poverty in america now beginning with the children and the elderly and our working folks in all colors? not just here, around the world. do not hide and conceal his challenge. as much as i'm glad that barack obama won -- i think that brother mitt romney would have been a catastrophe -- brother newt told the truth about vampire capitalism, but that is the system as a whole. but when barack obama attempts to use that rich tradition of so many struggling to produce that voice that pushed martin in the direction that it did, i get upset. people say we are hating obama. no, we are living the tradition
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that produced martin luther king jr., and we will not allow it to be sanitized, deodorize, sterilized. we want the subversive power to be heard. that is what we think when he said he is going to put his hand on that bible. [applause] and i'm praying for him. i'm praying for him. as is newt. both of us christians. we are praying for him. putting pressure on him. >> dr. west mentioned the children. that is a perfect segue to go straight to jonathan and mariana. i mentioned earlier jonathan has done the best work, to my reading, of many years now and certainly has spent the most
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time with children in poor communities, and no one has done anything better than he has done, making, establishing, and helping us better understand the link between education and poverty. i think we all know there is a link between education and poverty, but jonathan has done the work on it. just give me a top line of this new book, "fire in the ashes," and the 25 years you spend with children and the links to poverty. >> cornel always gets my blood boiling because i agree with him so deeply. i'm old now, so i remember dr. king. i was a young teacher in boston and a white guy living in the black community, and the black ministers did me an honor of letting me stand by his side the first time he came to preach in boston common, and his words changed my life forever.
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that is when i turned my back on an academic life and decided to teach fourth graders in our poorest neighborhoods. i get so angry on his birthday or on martin luther king day -- i heard politicians who turned their back totally on every single thing he lived and died for, never lifted a finger to bring an end to apartheid in schooling, which is now at a higher rate than it was the year he died, and they say, "i, too, had a dream." you cannot play games with the dreams of our prophets. dr. king did not say he had a dream that someday in the canyons of our cities, north and south, we will have tests and anxiety-ridden schools.
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that was not his dream. legacy,pped apart his and then we use his name in vain. my thing, as you know, is children. children in their schools. i'm not an economist. i was scared of numbers, but my world is children. the only tried and proven avenue of exit for the children -- the poorest children in this country from the destitution of their parents is to give them an absolutely terrific, exciting, beautiful, spectacular, and expensive public education. [applause] and to fund it not simply at the same high level as the richest suburbs, but at a higher
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level because those children need it more. to say one more thing about that -- in the past few years, class size has been soaring in our schools because they have been laying off teachers and. i walked into public schools in new york where i find 36 children in a fourth grade class like back in the 1960's. i walked into a high school in los angeles -- 40 kids in a 10th grade social studies class. i made the mistake of asking the teacher right in front of the kids how she teaches 40 kids in a classroom. she said, "do not ever ask that question. find out." and then she left the room. there are a lot of factors that go into terrific education, but one thing i know for sure is that the size of the class a
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teacher teaches is one of the most important factors in the entire pedagogic world. [applause] i have heard plenty of old time conservatives -- pat buchanan once yelled at me -- remember him? he once yelled at me on tv and said that was nonsense. "i have 50 in my class and it did not hurt me." i said, "well, i'm not sure." the fact of the matter is, i have rich friends that are so much like me. they will say to me, jonathan -- these are people who read my books and say they care about these poor kids in the bronx. they will say to me, jonathan, does class size really matter for the children? i always ask them where their kids go to school.
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how many children are in their class is. typically they are in a lovely suburb -- 16, 18, parents panic when it gets to 21. if they go to lovely private schools like sidwell friends here in washington, it is more like 15. then i see these kids packed into classrooms where there are more children than shares. i do not know how everybody else on this panel feels, but here's what i believe -- a very small class size and the intimate, affectionate attention enables a good teacher to get to every little girl and boy -- if that is good for the son of a prosperous position or a successful lawyer -- physician or a successful lawyer or a daughter of a senator or congressman or the president himself -- then it is good for
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the poorest child of the poorest woman in america. [applause] >> getting everybody involved here to have some fun -- let me come to you. jonathan talks so brilliantly -- i am thinking of the chicago teachers strike just months ago. the former chief of staff, he just announced -- now the mayor of chicago -- he demonized those teachers. most of the so-called liberal newspapers demonized the teachers, including "the new york times." one thing that hit me so viscerally -- the one decision that both of the teachers and
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the mayor got right was to leave the schools open during the strike so in the kids would have something to eat. remember this? but for those schools remain open, those kids in chicago would not -- 98% that qualify for the free lunch program, they would have nothing to eat daily while the teachers were on strike. your work is trying to establish an america, under free communities -- what does that say to us that in the city of chicago, this grand city of chicago, where the president is from -- i am not trying to demonize him -- schools have to be left open for the kids of that city to have something to eat? >> what does it say about
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america that we cannot decide on how to educate our children but all of a sudden we can think about what they are eating and make sure they get a meal? at the same time, think about, ok, let's make sure the kids are getting an education and school lunch, but forget about school breakfast. i think about the legacy of martin luther king -- if i can dip into that strong tradition and think about what he said, let us be dissatisfied. divine dissatisfaction with what is going on with this country in terms of our education system, but definitely with hunger. the fact that we have 50 million americans who live in food in secure homes, hungry holmes, last year. the majority were homes that had young children. if you think about it, one in four young children with an america under the age of six is suffering from food insecurity. we know that affects their
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childhood development. we know increases hospitalization rates. it costs us an enormous amount, not only socially, and human suffering, but economic suffering in terms of the health-care consequences and costs. long before a child even crosses the threshold of kindergarten, that child is potentially truncated because they are food insecure, they are hungry, their families to not have enough money for food. i went to pick back up on you, congressman gingrich -- when you say our programs do not work, you are absolutely wrong. i come from a tradition of science, a scientific background. i do scientific research on hunger and have been doing that for 15 years. i want to tell you, the food stamp program is one of the single most important programs that we have in this country. [applause] thank you. we know that food stamps
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prevent hospitalization for children. it is a good investment. think about pediatric hospitalization, it costs $24,000 for three days. that same amount of money could feed a family of four for one year. that is a great investment because it prevents hospitalization. it promotes job development, cognitive, social, emotional development, so by the time children are in school they can learn well. let's hope they can have breakfast and can get lunch as well so they can learn and listen to this teachers. learn about those traditions. the other program that worked beautifully is the wic program, women, infants, and children. i know you want to bring in the other people -- i have to speak to this. it brings the comments so far together. if we think about the program, 50% of the newborns in our country are poor enough to participate. one in two newborns.
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that is awesome effectiveness, awesome reach -- the rest of the world looks to us as a leader in making sure that we are preventing malnutrition and low birth weight. we know that is effective. but if you look at on the other side, think about the magnitude of child the poverty -- childhood poverty, that one in two eligible -- we have a major problem on our hands. when you think about what will happen, if sequestration happens, the discretionary budget -- how is it possible that the wic program is in the discretionary budget along with whether we build bombs? [applause] the wic program is potentially at risk if we are not careful. we must make sure that that program and the other programs such as early childhood education are protected, because for every $1 we spend on wic, over $3 is saved in
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medicare expenditures. we know that if wic actually works -- you are wrong in terms of whether our federal programs work. the two programs are phenomenal. they are fabulous. they work and they promote child health and well-being and make us a better country. [applause] >> one of the reasons why we are here for this conversation is to talk about what works, to debate what does not. we are going to get into that, i promise. the speaker will get a chance to respond and all of you will get a chance to respond. i want to -- i promise you we can mix things up. i'm glad we have almost three hours for this conversation. that is why i'm rushing through the first part. i will pick up the pace. i want to give everybody a chance.
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this is an issue that does not get talked about -- i want to take some time. maybe take some time and unpacked this. i want to say quickly we will come back to this -- our hashtag for those watching is #povertymustend. if you want to share this message around the world. our website is called afuturewithoutpoverty.com. when you go there, you'll see a letter that you can sign electronically that asks the president -- we will push this out by the thousands to the white house, asking the president to do two things. one, it is time for a president, in his second term, to give a major public policy address on the eradication of poverty in america. it is time for a major public policy address on eradicating poverty.
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after he gives that address, we are asking him to convene a white house congress on the eradication of poverty, to bring the experts together through the white house, from the left and the right, to have a conversation about treating the national plan that over a certain periodicals can cut poverty in half and over a greater time period move closer to eradicating poverty in the richest nation in the world. mr. president, it is time for a major policy address to eradicate poverty -- we want to know what you believe must be done to end poverty. will you consider convening a conference -- we're doing it right now on gun control. but look what it took for us to get to that point of doing it on gun control. what more has to happen? how many more people have to die or fall through the cracks before a leader decides it is important enough to convene the experts to create a national plan? so go to the website. you can assign the letter. we will push these letters out to the white house. i want to go to one of the great union leaders in this
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country -- we're going to hear from the speaker and everybody else, but there is something they have been advancing called the robin hood tax. it is gaining steam -- all kinds of influential americans are buying into this. i want you to hear about it from her as another solution to the poverty problem with america. [applause] >> on the robin hood tax -- is simply a tax on wall street. as we know, wall street does not pay its fair share. the minimum amount when stocks or bonds or derivatives or currencies are bought and sold, there is a minimum amount, 50 cents in the case of stocks, on a $100 trade. we all pay sales tax on everything that we buy. we sell something, we pay tax. this is paying to wall street
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-- you have gotten a pass. when you talk about jobs and education, i want to ask you, where are the jobs? they are not just trickling down or bubbling up -- there are no jobs in this country. i work for the labor movement -- it is being decimated by the right wing. i will talk about the financial transaction tax -- this is a part of the solution. i want to tell you, i represent registered nurses in the unions across this country. they are of the finest tradition of martin luther king -- they are about humanity. they do not make distinctions among patients. they do not care if you are rich or if you are poor, if you are black or if you are white, if you are a man or if you are a woman -- you are their patient. they protect you, the fight for you. becausey're finding is of profits in the health-care industry, the most inept system in the industrial world, the
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american medical system -- patients are being pushed out, children are coming with malnutrition. sometimes the only lunches they get are when they go into the emergency room. this -- the shame that basically our decision makers in wall street have brought to our country is presented to nurses on every shift at every hour in the hospitals in this country. you know what i love about nurses? they do not stop in terms of fighting. they fight like hell with their hospitals in terms of taking care of their patients. they see people when it is very late -- people who have not had cancer screenings. people who basically cannot afford their medication as the drug companies make $60 billion in profits. billions of dollars and trillions sitting in the
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reserves of the wealthy, and children are starving. people are at almost near-death. what the nurses have done is to say i will fight for them with in my hospital, but i will also fight for them in the streets. we've started a robin hood campaign that says, wall street, you are going to pay your fair share. i know jeffrey sacks is with us on this. we have been working with people all around the world. there are people on this board who have said, austerity is not the answer, we should tax wall street trades. [applause] basically, it is time to give something back. i actually wonder, i really wonder, do they care about what the nurses see? do they care about the vulnerability of america right now? one illness away from bankruptcy -- that is where everyone is. most people are underinsured.
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there will be 30 million people uninsured, even with obamacare, and even the people who have insurance cannot figure their insurance out. ultimately, the insurance companies are just robbing the country, along with the financial sector. people of being left out of jobs being created. [applause] their lousy jobs -- some of the jobs being created are hardly what you would consider jobs. i work for as a member of the labor movement. i represent nurses and fight like hell to make sure they can fight for their patience and themselves. but their retirement is under attack -- why should their retirement be under attack? the entitlement -- that is an entitlement? that is our money that paid for those entitlements that is being recycled back to us. we are pretty angry. we are organizing a movement -- it is in the streets and in
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congress and across the world. when are not going to stop. four nurses, they are not policy-makers. they do not have the comfort of being able to step back and say, that is not my problem. it is their problem every second of every day with hospitals. would you like me to talk about that robin hood tax? >> i will come back to you, i promise. you mentioned congress -- please welcome congresswoman marcia fudge. [applause] i'm trying to imagine -- we talked earlier about the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling. it is clear there is legislative gridlock in this town. what happens in the months to come with this kind of gridlock -- we already see the battle lines being drawn about what is to happen when these
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entitlements did on the table with in march. what happens to the poor as you see it in the coming months? >> let me first say, thank you so much for allow me to be part of this conversation. i am happy that you have been carrying on this kind of conversation over the last few years. let me try and see if i can put something in context for you -- i think that is something we never really talk about. a lot of this fiscal cliff stuff is really smoke and mirrors -- when you sit back and realize the largest portion of the debt of this country is really three things -- one is two wars we never paid for, what is a medicare part that we never paid for, and the other part is the bush tax cuts. those of the largest portions of the debt of this nation. what they're trying to do now by cutting what you call entitlements and i call and benefits -- entitlements did on the[applaus] is to protect the cuts they
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have already made. if you look at where we are, earned benefits, and there is really only one entitlement, which is medicaid -- if we do not have enough of a moral imperative to take care of the poorest people in this country, i do not know what we are all doing here. we have to stop and think about how we can, in a congress that is supposed to represent the will of the people, we ignore 46 million people. it did not just art under this president -- when george bush became president of the united states, 17 million people were in poverty. when he left, 30 million people were in poverty. that does not include them going into the ditch that we went into as he was leaving office. this has been a problem for a very long time. i think what we have to understand is you cannot just
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cut and constrict government. when you do, it goes all the way down the pipeline. it is not a cut -- is a shift. when you start cutting at the local, state, and county levels, you create a bigger problem than you think you have solved. it is all a game -- >> i have one more person to get involved -- let me ask for a follow-up. you accurately laid out what happened to poverty and the bush and ministration, and then stopped, as if we stopped than. when barack obama was elected -- poverty numbers continue to get worse. on barack obama -- put the facts on the table. they kept getting worse under barack obama -- sachs writes about this. i'm not doing this to demonize, but i'm wondering how is your
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mind that poverty gets made a priority, whether the president is a republican or a democrat? >> i think i did say that when we went into the ditch as bush came out of office, poverty continue to increase. there is no question about that. it has increased significantly. i do not believe that as a nation, not just the white house but the bottom up, any of us have done enough to address the issues of poverty in this country. we talk about dr. king. one of the things he said was there comes a time when silence is betrayal. [applause] any president is going to address issues we may can address. whoever the president is -- republican or democrat, no matter what. i can say in all fairness that even though i do not believe any of us have done enough, if
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you look at the two major pieces of legislation that were passed by this white house, obamacare, which everybody has been yelling and screaming about, significantly help poor people, significantly. [applause] if you look at the stimulus, in the stimulus there was $2 billion for food stamps. there was more money for head start and has ever been put into a bill for head start. there was more money put into poor schools. pell grants were increased. unemployment was extended. i am not saying it was enough, but i am saying, put the facts on the table and go from there. if we had not done that, it would be worse. >> fair enough. let's get more facts on the table. we are not even an hour in. i still have a lot of time to work this. let me go to john graham, the dean of environmental affairs at indiana university.
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a new book out called "america's poor" and the great recession. i want to read a small piece in this book, a paragraph, to give you a sense of what the book is. "i am conscious of the limitations born of legislative gridlock between liberals and conservatives. we put together a set of proposals for reducing poverty while still protecting the budget and enhancing long-term financial security. these recommendations include -- here is the list -- include indexing the federal minimum wage to inflation, restructuring medicaid reimbursement, targeting program recipients more precisely, allocating funds in concert with the business cycle, creating a systematic effort to provide subsidized employment and job training, and putting in place party impact analysis to
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identify new and low-cost avenues for poverty reduction. they will not only succeed in they will not only succeed in reducing poverty, but also succeed in congress." a list of things you detailed that you believe can succeed in congress -- both the left and the right can actually agree on some of these ideas that you laid out in this book. tell me why you are hopeful that any of these ideas could be agreed on by the left and the right. >> thank you for allowing me to be here today and offering a midwest perspective on these issues. i would like to give the two good pieces of news from the midwest. both president bush and president obama realized that having a government that is at
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war on the auto industry is not good for america. the result is we have lots of new people being hired in the midwest, not only at gm and chrysler but also honda and toyota. it is not as benefiting the executives -- there are $5,000 bonus is going to workers at gm and ford this year. another example is natural gas -- both president bush and president obama recognized having a regulatory system that smothers innovation in the natural gas industry is not help the economy. both have allowed an explosion in the natural gas production. one of the cleanest fuels -- this is causing jobs in manufacturing it used to be gone to china to come back to the united states. that has been a positive development for our economy. the first point i want to make, when the two parties can get together on some of these issues this and that things can happen. with respect to poverty
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specifically, i think it is a well-kept secret of mitt romney and barack obama advocated indexing the minimum wage to the rate of inflation. it does not matter now, because we have no inflation, but if the economy gets better and we do not index the minimum wage to inflation people at the bottom of the income spectrum are going to lose ground rather than gain ground in the recovery that is a modest sensible thing we should all agree on. >> that is pretty good for a dean. i'll give you all the leeway you need to do that. i wonder if you can help me imagine what a white house conference to eradicate poverty with the left and right present to talk about ideas that could work if they could agree on -- give me a sense of at this
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moment what some of the ideas on the table might be that could get this moving, and you can respond to what you wanted to earlier. >> part of the challenges that most of the experts who supposedly would come to a conference like that are already experts of ideas that did not work. i think it is important to understand that. the example i gave about sebastian -- if he succeeds and can produce a undergraduate education with a 90% reduction in tuition, he does change, additional opportunity with in america in a way that is staggering and will help. i guarantee it will be hard to talk about a world in which tuition drops 90%, because you challenge all their incomes. education -- i agree almost entirely with what we talked about earlier with education.
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i spent a year with the secretary of education in this administration and reverend al sharpton going around the country. it was an enormous privilege. i guarantee you, as a white republican walking into an inner-city baltimore school, my standing was zero. none of the kids had a clue who i was. they all knew who al sharpton was. i was allowed to be part of the conversation as his sidekick. let me give you to ban things that will be interesting to pick up on a little bit. the fact is, for 60% of most public schools, catholic schools graduate an extraordinarily high percent of kids who go to college. a thought experiment -- what if we said to catholic schools, we will let you enroll as many poor children, and we will fund it? overnight, you have an explosion of highly disciplined
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schools with passionate teachers that costs 60% as much and can get to 15 students per class. i give you that as an example. or take a variety of other things, where you have certain kinds of charter schools that have extraordinary graduation rates. i was in a school in philadelphia, a public charter school -- i had a junior in the school, and the same building, the same neighborhood, the same students, but in three years' time fundamentally changed culturally. they said, but in the old school they expected us to fight, so we thought. in the school, they said the first time the fight will be kicked out. and i wanted to go to college. every teacher's colleagues -- every teacher was engaged. the question of day was not a going to cut, but what college you going to? there was a fundamental change,
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in a very poor neighborhood. i would be for whatever level of funding it up. i think he pointed 15 students is right. poor children need more schooling and better schooling the middle-class and upper- middle-class kids. that is a fact. last point -- i never said we should abolish the food stamp program, which i have voted for. i never said abolish wic, which i voted for. i will suggest to you, after 49 years of in johnson's war on poverty, if you tell us there are 50 million kids who are in insecure food environments, i would have to ask you, what is wrong with the food stamp program that as kids do not have adequate nutrition, and what do we need to do to change the system, because there is something profoundly wrong when we spend this much money and have that big of a gap. [applause] >> thank you. let's deal with this now -- my friend newt gingrich and a lot
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of my other republican friends, when they want to make a point about what is not working, what my friend danny davis would say -- when they want to make a point of what is not the answer to the prayer where poverty is concerned, they go right at johnson's war on poverty. was the war on poverty a failure, did it had its successes, did we see the number of poor start to go down? contextualize for me the way you see the war on poverty. let me hear your point of view. >> first of all, the kennedy- johnson years had the biggest decline of poverty in the history of this country. it has been at conservative propaganda to repeat this was a failure over and over again. it is nonsense. if you look of the poverty rate of 1959 and compared to the end of the decade, that was the biggest single drop we ever had. that was pure propaganda. the fact of the matter is, when you say we need to carve out protection of wic education, it is all going down.
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we should understand, there is no carving out now. it is under assault. we just passed what was called the victory -- we just made permanent the bush era tax cuts for 99% of the households in this country. that was the so-called victory -- what we are doing is breaking the base to stand on any of these programs. newt says he will support it if he works -- but we do not have money on that because taxes on wall street disappeared. taxes on the corporate sector disappeared. look at where the corporate sector keeps its money -- cayman islands. that is next due mitt's money. we have constructed this -- i have to say, sad to say, there is a deeper, lurking truth -- this is not paralysis in
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washington. this is a bipartisan approach, unfortunately. [applause] both parties, both parties have been on this. the only difference is the republicans do it gleefully, the democrats do it wringing their hands. they are both with the corporate sector. they have both decided with cutting the taxes on the top. they are both party to the disappearance of the civilian programs of our national government, which work, and if you look at the budget, unfortunately which president obama has put on the table, the civilian discretionary budget, the discretionary budget under this president has declined from 4% of national income in 2010 down to below 2% by the end of this decade, 1.7% of national income.
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for what -- for jobs? for training? for education? for all the infrastructure? for the environment? for climate? for science? for technology? we are getting the government. this is the hard truth. what is going to happen in two months is to solidify this. nobody is speaking out for the government. we're talking of protecting the few entitlements -- that is the rearguard action. do not kill everything. but we'll squeeze into nothing. you are absolutely right -- the top cannot pay. they have been given every way to get their money out tax-free. it is trillions of dollars that have been lost, in addition to what has been wasted. [applause] >> it is about to get fun. if i can get some quick responses -- i want to come to
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you. jeffrey sachs said a moment ago -- there is a bipartisan consensus that the poor just do not matter. they end up being more and more invisible. talk about a guy like in johnson who in doing what he did make it clear that he knew he was writing off the south for the next 30 years of pushing the programs he pushed, the war on poverty, the civil rights act. let me ask you a question -- i think i can predict your answer. let me ask you, have the democrats abandoned poor people? have they abandoned the issue of poverty? [applause] have the democrats abandoned the poor? >> i'm going to come down hard. >> thank you so much. >> you go first. >> let me say two things.
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i'm not owned by anybody. no corporations or anybody else. secondly, let me say that democrats have in a lot of ways written off poverty -- i would disagree with that. it is no different than guns. if they cannot figure out what to do about it, they do not do anything. but let me also say the congressional black caucus has taken this issue up year after year after year. nobody fights for poor people more. it was the congressional black caucus that basically was willing to hold off on the last but we took because of the pay- fors. people said, how did you pay for the doc fix ? they pay for it by cutting things like dialysis and renal failure treatment and diabetes -- who does that affect? we understand clearly that our caucus is not always on outside. they get so caught up in all of
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the middle class of this and that -- let me say that the congressional black caucus just had its retreat today. we said, we are not going to go for raising the age of medicare. puttingt going for social security on the table. we know that just increases the poverty in this country. >> since you went there, and i want to be transparent and always authentic in these conversations to make progress -- you are the new chair of the congressional black caucus, stuff that you now and saying stuff -- you have seen it reported everywhere. the first black president, barack obama, and the congressional black caucus had an interesting dance you or were doing in the first term. you can read about it at a variety of sources -- there was some tension between the white house and the congressional black caucus. you all decided you were going
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to go out anyway and create your own jobs. he went around the country and set up these jobs fairs. the tension between the white house -- at one point you could not get a meeting. at one point you could not get a meeting with the vice president inside the white house. i am raising them because i am wondering what that relationship is going to be like now that you are the new chair. in the second term -- what happens to the black poor? i was stunned by this. when you did raise your voices, often in tension with the white house. the district would go off on you for giving the black president a hard time. >> that is true. >> i am just asking how this relationship is going to work in the second term given that the black poor are hurting the most.
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>> let me say, my perspective on this -- i can only speak for myself being the new chair. i certainly anticipate having a good relationship with the white house, but i would say what i say to everyone -- the president's job is different from my job. i come from one of the poorest cities in america. i believe that with any president, you have to say what you believe. if that means pushing, then we have to push. i do not believe that any president wants to ignore the pressing issues of our day, whether it be poverty or any other, but they have so much underplayed that if we do not do what we need to do, then it is our fault. [applause] >> and now for the hammer. >> i think that is fair.
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what i was one to say is that i think there has been a shameful silence, not just in the black community, but in the progressive community, of talking about the white house which talks one way but often moves with in another direction. is time to be open about that. the black caucus, i can understand -- you have a black constituency who themselves have a protective disposition for a black president who has been viciously and unfairly attacked from the right. by fox news and other places -- i do not mind the critique, but when they start lying, i have got to defend the president. you have a president dealing with a right wing, a backlash with a black man in the white house. but often he is not defensible when it comes to issues of the poor, prison industrial complex, and so forth. you just cannot defendant. that is the simple silence that brother tavis is talking about
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-- one that needs to be highlighted precisely because the legacy of harold washington -- those politicians on the inside is still tried to move in certain directions and got a lot of trouble. i want to get to a point about fundamental change -- we do need fundamental change. but part of it has to do with the point about jobs. you can have all the magnificent education in the world like they do in greece, but if you of their jobs they of nowhere to go. why is it that we do not have high-quality jobs? one reason is because in the last 30 years you have had the financial sector and wall street moved to the center -- 41% of profits going to the big banks to do not generate jobs or generate any well connected to productive value. it is well in private pockets. they're sitting on $3.4 trillion right now.
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they have $700 billion worth of bailouts -- that homeowners did not get but the banks got. they also got nearly interest free loans of $7.7 trillion. can not some of that money be used for decent housing? quality education? jobs with a living wage? [applause] our priority is are so warped because we're living in a culture that is shot through with corrupt self-interest and greed. nobody cares about the notions of solidarity. that is why i oppose them talking about education -- not because i do not trust these human beings, but eradicating poverty. public education is predicated on the notion you are focused on other kids -- you have to be
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concerned about all children. not any longer -- all this privatizing profit obsession, this preoccupation with this short-term gain as opposed to long-term integrity, is being pushed to the side. i do not care what color you are, what class you are -- we ought to be honest about it. we ought to tell the truth about it. the only way we're going to turn it around. >> i want to ask a quick follow-up -- we will bounce around. we can start to mix this up. it point by question -- all the times we have talked on tv and radio, private conversations, i have never asked to this. let me ask you on national television. >> i was going to say, after the brilliant oratory you are going to ask questions?
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>> as you will see, it is simple but complex -- do you believe that there is class warfare in this country? >> i believe there is a fix between the big boys in the federal reserve, the new york banks, and those who wrote dodd- frank. i believe that bill is a disaster because it shifts power right to the 10 biggest banks. it basically creates a government-bank coalition. i think it is amazing we went to the last five years and there have been no shifts, unlike the 1930's, no serious investigations of what happened to all the money. [applause] i find myself thinking, i am about to agree with dr. west on a topic -- dissertations could be written about this particular thing. the only place you puzzle me is
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when secretary duncan and reverend sharpton and i went around -- we were going around with the precise goal of helping all the children. we wanted everybody -- public education can also be publicly funded education as long as it is open to everyone. it cannot have any restrictions. i want to find a way to get to schools -- i would say, in terms of public education in the current structure -- if you could tie the money to performance and ensure that there was a rapid change in any building where the children are not being served well, then i would be much more comfortable, and i'm willing to go to 15 children per classroom. i think that point is exactly right. >> jonathan, is the speaker right or wrong? >> i do not want to waste too much time tonight on rehashing the voucher argument, the right wing and voucher argument.
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now the conservatives do not call it voucher's anymore, they have other sweeter terms for it. >> are charter terms the answers? >> no. there are a few good charter schools to get the lion's share of attention because they are clever and selective in who they admit and selective about who cares about them in the first place. charter schools, especially the ones that again private corporate money from right-wing foundations, what they represent is a narrowing of the civic virtue to the smallest possible parameters. i will fight for my kids in this little boutique school of 200 children. i will not raise my voice for all the millions left behind. more importantly, a follow-up on cornel's point -- you talk
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about the trillions of dollars sitting there on wall street. i want to make a concrete, specific useful suggestion for president obama -- get a hold of that kind of money. the best preventive medicine that i know of -- rescue children from hereditary poverty. that is, give them absolutely rich, full, exciting, enticing, not drilling, but developmental preschool, starting when they're two years old. [applause] i am sick of people, and i was not a new, but one member of congress who is with us here tonight -- and i will not say
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who, but one member of congress who is with us here tonight, that there is no proof this works. ask any teacher in america if kids in her class -- you will find out whether it works. every kindergartner, every first grade teacher, knows right away. the crime is that even with modest increases that the congressman referred to, very modest increases, more than half of the poor eligible children in this country do not even get a single year of anything at all resembling real preschool education. i happen to know that the rich get it for their children, because i grew up in privilege. they tell me, they do not think i will tell you, but i will. in new york city, the top preschools, that guarantee
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success in life, not just academic but social -- a number that can be plastered on your forehead and a standardized exam. the top preschools, they call them baby ivies. no pretense of a meritocracy. they cost $26,000. here's what i'm saying right now -- if i were the president, i would take all those billions of dollars being wasted right now on at the corporations, and i would put that money into three full years of the best preschool education in the entire world. if they cannot afford to do that, talk about $30 billion -- if we cannot afford to do that,
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i do not see what help we have upholding any sense of dignity, pretense of democracy, in the eyes of people in the rest of the world. [applause] >> i just have to add one thing to that -- one point i will add, to deny this to children is an act of thievery, but it is worse than stealing a car. this is an irreversible theft. you never get to live the second year of your life again. this is it -- you get it once. then it is gone forever. i think the president fails to act on this aggressively, dramatically, prophetically, to get this for us quickly -- i think is not just a budgetary issue. i think it is a theological abomination, a crime against the innocent. >> i agree.
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[applause] i say all the time, quoting -- the conversation could not be more timely. i sell the time, quoting dr. king, that budgets are moral documents. you can say what you say, but you are what you are. we know who you are when you put your budget on the table. we can see what your budget priorities are. that is why this conversation could not be more timely. we are days away -- it will be a big party on monday, but after monday as we move toward the debt ceiling conversations and the spending cuts get placed on the table, the poor are likely to take it on the chin. that is why we are here with in washington tonight having this conversation. our hashtag is #povertymustend. our website is afuturewithoutpoverty.com. you'll find a letter on that
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website -- you can electronically sign it asking the president to give a major public policy address on poverty sooner than later, and second to convene a white house conference on the eradication of poverty to bring experts to get into crafting national plan to cut poverty in half and eradicate it in the richest nation in the world. it is not a skill problem, it is it will problem. we have the will to the poverty a priority with in this country? >> you have to have the real economy. but we have now? i am amazed -- you could talk about public education, we could talk about health care. everyone knows that a single payer health care system would -- insurance would cover everyone. insurance companies would be gone. cost, quality, access would be at a premium in terms of our
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ability to be a civil society if we had a single payer health care system. we could generate almost 3 million jobs, which would serve to stimulate the rest of the economy when you are building -- and actually taking care of the people. they know that in washington. they know public education is viable. they just want to privatize it. i think you all doing a beautiful job -- the nurses appreciate you so deeply. honestly, the progressive caucus, the black caucus -- but one of the things that you said, and i completely agree, is that you have got to push. we have got to treat a movement in this country -- occupy was a moment. it needs to start up and keep going -- it needs to bring millions of people with it.
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the robin hood tax, the campaign the nurses have -- $350 billion a year from wall street for a minimum tax. you know what one of the legislator said to one of our nurses going to the capitol and talking about the wall street tax? she said, you nurses need to lower your expectations. the nurse looked at her and said, would you like for me to say that to you when i am prepare you for surgery? the true story. i mean, honestly, literally, it is a disgrace -- lower your expectations? i see what is happening out here every day. we're not going to lower our expectations. we're going to fight for a real economy. our economy has been hijacked -- we can talk about all the problems, talk endlessly about what i heard yesterday -- i heard about a woman yesterday.
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we heard about a real woman yesterday from michigan who actually chose to have her leg amputated because she could not afford the antibiotics in terms of taking care of her leg. she had her leg amputated because of money, because of money, because we do not have health care system. it is a disgrace. the robin hood tax can generate $350 billion -- they have bipartisanship. they're keeping everything off the agenda that is important to us. they have bipartisanship on that. we cannot compromise our principles. we can compromise on taxes, the people have to say, line in the sand. learn that from the labor
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movement. say, this is a line that you do not cross. we want their jobs back. we want our pensions. we want to raise standards for everyone in america. nurses do not want to discriminate. we want a civil society. we want a society -- where is our country? [applause] >> let me ask you -- roseanne said something that got my attention a few seconds ago. it is the notion of whether or not as a society -- has the demos, have we lowered our expectations? police say to the citizens who in fact have lowered -- what we say to the citizens who have lowered their expectations -- there's always debate about what the proper role of government ought to be. i suspect it will have more of that in the coming days about what the proper role government
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should be -- what are our expectations? are they too low? some of my friends on the right will see the opposite -- the expectations of government are too high. talk to me about expectations -- what do we have a right to expect in the richest nation in the world? >> i think it is important what they were saying about what should be done -- it is not theory, it is actually being done in countries around the world with demonstrated, proven results. every child in many countries in europe start out with that preschool. the results are that unlike this country, there is not hereditary poverty. it is proven -- this is not a theory. what you are saying about the health system is completely proven. our health system costs an extra $750 billion a year for exactly the same services that you would get in other countries. at the institute of medicine
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issued a report that the waste and fraud that comes from this for-profit system is 5% of national income, wasted. that sector owns washington. it is not clear -- that is what other countries do. we are just not normal. our politics got hijacked. >> but we are the greatest nation in the world -- is that notion of american exceptionalism. how can this be happening elsewhere and not be happening in the greatest nation in the world? >> one of the things the greatest nation in the world refuses to do is look at any other nation. >> exactly. i [applause] >> and to see what it is doing. you know, the turning point of this country was 32 years ago, almost to the day, when ronald reagan made a statement in his inaugural address that the
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solution to the government -- the government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem. if you believe that, do not the president, for heaven's sake. you had a president who was inveighing against government. presidents of both parties have basically continued this policy. we have no active programs to solve any of these problems. we know what the solutions are -- we're not going to pay for any of them. i'm telling you, sadly, it is getting worse. no matter what the agreement is in two months. we are squeezing -- the rich have gotten their way. the corporate sector has gotten their way. they do not pay. there is no money for this preschool. all the sectors alone and operate the congress, so we have overpriced systems, exactly what you say, schools that do not work.
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we have the least social mobility of any high-income country in the world now. we have kids locked into poverty like no other high- income countries in the whole world. because you cannot get out of it for exactly the reason jonathan said. by the time they're six years old -- is so stark in the evidence. >> as jeffrey's talking now -- you recall last year when we had a wonderful panel about poverty. a wonderful panel last year. a great line last year -- there is a highway into poverty but not even a sidewalk out. there is a highway into poverty but not even a sidewalk out. that is the point -- it is so hard to get out. poverty is no longer color- coded -- this is not a black
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thing, not a brown thing -- this is an american catastrophe that is about -- dr. west and i, said the new poor in this country are the former middle- class. that is what is happening in our society. >> thank you very much. it is such a rich conversation. i am glad to be a part of it. where to begin? no matter what your leanings are and whether you know about education or not, let's turn to some of the language you are talking about. investing in very young children is the best investment you can make. it has the greatest return on investment. we know that because the first years of life are the most important for cognitive, social, and emotional development. you are only two years old ones. that is the most significant
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window of time. which brings me to the next point, yes, we have class warfare. those who are poor are completely left out of the national dialogue on poverty and hunger. that is a bipartisan effort, to keep people who are poor out of the national dialogue. that is why i work with low income women to be able to take photographs and provide direct testimony on their experiences with raising children in poverty, how to break cycles with poverty, and there are so many conversations happening. this concept of violence and betrayal. people have been silenced for so many years. poverty is solvable.
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they and expect nothing less. they are raising their children and they expect their child to be the president of the united states, a lawyer, a doctor, and they want the best education, the best type of food, a safe and affordable home to live. the women we work with are investing so much into their children. they are having to trade off paying for rent and paying for food, and trade off for whether they keep the lights on and pay for food. that is unconscionable. [applause] thank you. all of us can expect more. low income women should be included in the national dialogue. the women i have spoken with our genius. they are brilliant to survive in the united states today. they are so fantastic entrepreneurs. they are wise. they have a lot of grit. they are stronger than any of us on stage.
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it is a brain trust in america we are not utilizing. they should be part of the national dialogue at a part of the stage and being listened to in congress. not just the special interest lobbyists. [applause] >> we are going into the last hour of the program. we want to highlight the fight back. there are people in this country who are succeeding against the odds every day as they struggle with poverty. there are persons who will join us on the front row. they are already here. i will get off the stage and talk to them so we can hear from everyday people, fellow citizens, who are in this fight every day. we want to put a face on poverty.
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while you are talking, talk to me about what you make of the fact that the new poor are in fact the former middle-class. they make up every race, every ethnicity. when we talk about poverty, people think as the poor as those people. they are increasingly becoming us. people are losing their jobs, their 401k. >> we are in the middle of an economic disaster. it is crushing people. it is very dangerous. it can zap their capacity. this is a big threat to the country. we underestimate the danger. jeffrey knows the story dramatically better than i do.
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loaning small amounts of money only to women in order to create micro entrepreneurs. there are ways in which we say to people, the passive. we ought to be saying, if we could wave a magic wand and tomorrow have 6 million small businesses, one of the things we should seriously look at with tax reform is how do you replace the anti-poor, anti-small business tax. it is the first big hurdle to create a job.
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how could you design the equivalent for starting your own business? trying to reach out here and realize, every american could be an entrepreneur. passing so many laws and regulations and taxes that they kill the start up businesses in ways that are crazy. >> i have to jump in. thank you so much for talking about entrepreneurship. you were there, you were a part of that. there has been so much destruction to the assistance program. talk about rules and regulations. those are things your administration, when you were the speaker of the house, so many of those types of rules and regulations were built into the program, so much that they have not responded to the recession. it is only able to reach about
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30% of the children who are poor in this country. an incredible increase in child poverty been. micro finance would may be a great way to insert into the system. if a woman is receiving cash assistance or food stamps and she happens to, may be working on the side doing hair and nails, housekeeping, child care. fantastic things. that $50 or $100 she makes on the weekend, god forbid she reported to the case manager because she would be criminalized for something that would be celebrated in this country.
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[applause] >> i agree with you. >> i want to tell you that would have been lovely if you could have thought of that 17 years ago. [applause] >> i wish i had. >> think of the damage done. >> he said i wish i had. he did say that. i have got you on the microphone. what you have just said now is wonderful. the fact she is agreeing with you is amazing to me. >> shocking. >> you were in the media almost immediately when this fiscal cliff deal was reached. you were in the media almost immediately, you were very disappointed, very upset at this deal that was struck. i got the sense you were spanking your fellow republicans for getting their clocks cleaned by mr. obama in that debate.
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tell me what you are upset about and is there some revenge exacted? >> we have very severe long-term fiscal problems. i think there is a lot more that is at the big banks door and the federal reserve's door. it is amazing neither party has been willing to look at the problems. we are faced with enormous long-term challenges on the fiscal side. i thought the whole process was wrong. i have a bias. i was speaker of the house. the idea that the senate at the last minute would write an entire bill, put whatever they wanted into it, send it over, and say, pass it as we wrote it. we will not touch it again. and the house said, ok. the that was institutionally crazy. nobody read that bill. it violated everything republicans complained about with the stimulus. the minimum they could have done was brought it up, actually read it, maybe had a hearing to
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find out what was in it and what did it mean. there were millions of dollars for the motion picture industry. i understand why the president wants to take care of its friends. what did that have to do with the bill? a goody here and a few other goodies there. republican senators wrote what they wanted. it is a bad way to run free society. >> we just passed a farm bill. my colleagues -- and i will call them that because i am in public -- voted to cut $16.50 billion over the next years.
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i voted against it because i thought it was outrageous. they voted against it because they did not think it was enough. we have people who literally work in the house of representatives who do not believe they are in poverty in this country. any of them, i want you to go to the other side of town to wherever it is you live. people believe if you do not work, you are lazy. these are the craziest people i have ever seen in my life. absolutely nuts. [applause] if we continue to send people to congress who do not understand what their job is, then we are never going anywhere as a country. these people are evil and mean. they cared nothing about
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anybody but themselves. [applause] >> let me ask you, though. i am really feeling sorry for you. i will push you higher up on my prayer list tonight. there are people who are entrenched in congress, they come from districts where this is not their priority, not their issue, so congress is polarized around the issue of poverty. there is a consensus poverty does not matter. congress is polarized on this issue.
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how do we ever imagine that the plot of the poor will get addressed. class getting these little blurbs. make them sit down, convene a group of people to address the issues of poverty. people out there have to stop being silent. anytime i get a phone call in my office, i believe at least 50 of my constituents believe the exact same thing. if you start calling your congress people and your senators and say to them, you want them to address poverty, trust that they listened very do not assume or be angry when you turn on the news at night and tourism at your television. it cannot talk to us. you have to do it yourself. if you don't, once again, every year, one of us takes the food
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stamp challenge. people get the news. until we get more voices, until more people understand how important and significant it is for us, they are going to continue to pat us on the head and say, your food stamp challenge week. until they see hungry people, until they see babies who do not eat every day, until they realize the fastest-growing group of children in schools today is hungry and homeless children, until we can make them see it, they will not believe it. >> that is a perfect segway. for those who just tuned in, this is our hastag. #povertymustend.
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our website is afuturewithoutpoverty.com. you will find a letter. it is already written for you. encouraging the president to do things quickly. deliver a major public policy address on the eradication of poverty. we have been told over and over he is an organizer. it is time for the community to get organized and let the president know we want to hear from him, we want him to deliver a major public policy address on poverty. we can do this every day. this is no comparison between what we are doing and what would happen if the president of the united states gave a major
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policy speech on what he will do to eradicate poverty. and then he gave us an assignment to do to help him get it done. he ought to give a major public policy address. bring the experts together. i will not be in that meeting. i am not an expert. i am just a broadcaster to open up a whole for the experts to run through. a plan to cut poverty in half in the short run, eradicate it in the long run. if the president wants a legacy in which he and we can be proud, he will have to make poverty a priority in the second term. sign that letter and let him know about it. >> i do not want to be in that meeting, either.
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i would not go. at least a crack addict is honest about their addiction. the white house is addicted to power. they are addicted to power. it is not just about power. it has to do with love and justice. love and justice is always weak. that is precisely why tradition in this history of this nation has been the democratic loaf. we recognize we have to have a suspicion of government. this is why i resonate with my conservative brothers. martin luther king jr. was under fbi surveillance until the day he died. government can be oppressive, vicious, ugly, violate your
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rights, generate propaganda. we need that, too. government can be affirmative, if they are helping poor and working people. government can help use its power for elites. when they come together with no accountability whatsoever, not just politically, but economically. let me say this. martin luther king jr. today could be taken to jail without due process or judicial process under the national defense authorization act because he had a connection with a freedom fighter, nelson mandela. he just got off the terrorist list in 2008. he had a relation to a terrorist. under the present administration, and you can take americans to jail without due process. the black freedom movement has always been suspicious of it. we have black prisoners in their precisely because they
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were willing to tell the truth that was a threat and we do not talk about them. that is why the culture of fear is not just violence. people are afraid. they are afraid to lose their jobs. they are afraid to lose their status. not going to be nice tea parties, the white house. you cannot have a culture of fear and generate a movement. it is not just about justice. we have got to talk about love. martin was a titan of love. if you are not talking about love and willingness of sacrifice, we are not going nowhere. you have to be willing to hit the streets, go to jail, to die. that is what it is about. if you are not willing to do that, keep your job and drink your tea.
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we are in the state of emergency. [laughter] [applause] people are dying out here. >> since you went there, this is foreign to a lot of people. martin has been gone for so long now. the nation knows the president will be sworn in for a second term on monday, on the martin luther king jr. holiday. just blocks down the street, the monument. the president will put the hand on the bible of martin luther king jr. as he is inaugurated. king is always present in our conversations. he is present tonight. if you raise this notion of love, since martin, the notion of love, and our public policy have been absent, you talk about and try to put love -- we heard about compassionate
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conservatives, i want to ask you whatever happened to compassionate conservatism -- but love, at the center of our public policy, it is a foreign concept. that is exactly what martin did. he put love at the center of the public square. why have we abandoned that notion? >> the rule of money. everybody and everything is up for sale. you cannot have integrity, love, you cannot have trust if everything and everybody is up for sale. if your leaders are up for sale, they will talk one way, get inside, and do something else. it is big money. for black people who have been hated for 400 years,
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institutionalized hatred coming after us, and we dish out martin king, that love in the face of the hatred, that is a spiritual and moral high ground. the whole country has to take note of it with martin. the whole world has to take note of it. that is what is weak and feeble. it is not a question of skin pigmentation. it is a question of equality and morality of your spirituality. all of us fall short. [applause] >> now it is competition. the president takes no child the president takes no child left behind, which is the worst